The 23-time Slam champion, who will equal Margaret Court’s all-time haul of major titles if she beats Angelique Kerber on Saturday, needed just an hour and 10 minutes to defeat Julia Goerges 6-2 6-4.
Williams, who gave birth to daughter Olympia just over 10 months ago, produced the most impressive display of her comeback and will now attempt to stage a repeat of the 2016 final, when she defeated German Kerber in straight sets.
Williams said: “It’s crazy. I don’t even know how to feel. I didn’t expect to do so well in my fourth tournament back. I just feel when I don’t have anything to lose, I can play so free. It’s definitely not normal for me to be in a Wimbledon final. I’m just enjoying every moment.”
Goerges was playing in her first slam semi-final and Williams her 35th, so it would have been no surprise if the German was a little over-awed, but far from it.
The 29-year-old came out hitting the ball cleanly and landing plenty of winners but, after four very competitive games, Williams pulled away.
Goerges was the first top-50 player the American had faced during the tournament so there was a sense she had not been properly tested, but Williams was simply on another level.
Chasing down Goerges’ powerful shots and sending them arrowing into the corners, Williams, who has not lost a Wimbledon semi-final since being beaten by sister Venus in 2000, looked a woman on a mission.
She reeled off the final four games of the opening set and quickly moved in front in the second. Goerges clawed her way back from 2-5 to 4-5, breaking the Williams serve for the only time in the match in the ninth game.
But Goerges was broken again in the final game and, although she hit 20 winners to 16 for Williams, there was no doubt who was the superior player.
The win extended Williams’ unbeaten run at Wimbledon to 20 matches, dating back to a third-round loss against Alize Cornet in 2014.
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