LONDON – Angelique Kerber raced into her second Wimbledon final as the German crushed former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko 6-3, 6-3 in just 67 minutes on Thursday.
Kerber took the express route to her a fourth Grand Slam title match with a blink-and-you-miss-it demolition of Ostapenko on Centre Court.
The 30-year-old hit only 10 winners but that was all it took to get the job done as Ostapenko shot herself in the foot with 36 unforced errors.
Kerber faces seven-time champion Serena Williams or German 13th seed Julia Goerges in Saturday’s final.
“I was just trying to move good and take my chances. I’m so excited,” Kerber said.
“It’s such a great feeling to be back in the final. Playing on Centre Court is always great.”
Referencing her dismal form last year, Kerber added: “2017 is over and I’m really happy about that. We are in 2018!
“I’m really happy and proud to be in a Grand Slam final. These are the matches I was working for since I was a kid.”
Kerber was beaten by Williams in the 2016 Wimbledon showpiece.
It will be world No. 10 Kerber’s first Grand Slam final since she won the second of her two major titles at the 2016 U.S. Open.
Kerber is bidding to become the first German woman to win Wimbledon since Steffi Graf in 1996.
After winning the Australian and U.S. Open titles and reaching the Wimbledon final two years ago, Kerber endured a significant slump in 2017.
But the former world No. 1 has been reinvigorated over the last few months.
In her third Wimbledon semifinal and seventh at the majors, Kerber landed the first blow with a break, thanks to a wild Ostapenko misfire, in the seventh game of the first set.
Ostapenko’s go-for-broke mentality came back to haunt the 12th seed again when a double fault on set point allowed Kerber to seize the lead.
Having dropped a set for the first time in the tournament, former junior Wimbledon winner Ostapenko was broken again in the second game of the second set as Kerber stepped up the pressure.
Ostapenko, 21, had admitted she cracked under the strain of defending the French Open title when she lost in the first round last month.
And the first Latvian woman to make the Wimbledon semifinals was paying the price for more rash mistakes as the match slipped away.
Showing her first sign of nerves Kerber wasted a match point and was broken when she served at 5-1.