Serena Williams choked back tears as she contemplated the year-long journey that has taken her from fighting for her life in a hospital bed to the verge of history.
Williams overwhelmed Anastasija Sevastova 6-3 6-0 to reach her 31st grand slam singles final. There she will face a first-timer 16 years her junior in Naomi Osaka, who grew up idolizing the woman she must now try to beat.
Williams never expressed any doubt that she would return to the game following the birth of her daughter Olympia last September, but that seemed an awfully long way away when she developed life-threatening complications.
The 36-year-old said: “It’s really incredible. A year ago I was literally fighting for my life after I had the baby. Every time I step out on this court, I am so grateful I have an opportunity to play this sport. No matter what happens in any match — semis, final — I feel like I’ve already won.”