American great Serena Williams powered her way into a seventh Wimbledon final, while Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska reached her first-ever Grand Slam championship match in Thursday's women's semifinal action at The Championships.
In a battle of former world No. 1s, a sixth-seeded Williams beat second-seeded Victoria Azarenka 6-3, 7-6 (8-6), while the first semi of the day saw a third- seeded Radwanska roll past eighth-seeded German Angelique Kerber 6-3, 6-4 on Centre Court at the storied All England Club.
Radwanska is the first Polish Grand Slam finalist in 73 years, or since Jadwiga Jedrzejowska lost in the women's title match at the French Championships in 1939. She can become the No. 1 player in the world with a victory over Williams in two days.
Williams landed in her 18th major final (13-4) by getting past a quality opponent in Azarenka, who held the top-ranking for a majority of this year after capturing her first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January.
Azarenka would have returned to No. 1 with a victory on Thursday, but that didn't happen.
Williams cruised in the opening set behind an unstoppable service game, as she simply overpowered her Belarusian counterpart.
Azarenka tried to fight her way back into the match in the second, as she played much better tennis en route to a tiebreak.
She somehow managed to break Williams to level the second set at 3-all, and the two players stayed on serve over the next six games on their way to the breaker.
In the extra session, Azarenka dumped a forehand into the net to cap a fierce rally and give Williams her first match point, at 6-5. The American failed to convert when she sent a forehand lob long on tennis' most-famous court.
Azarenka then netted a backhand to give Williams a second match point, which she converted with a women's Wimbledon-record 24th ace on a sunny day in this London suburb.
Read More: TheSportsNetwork.com