Angelique Kerber outlasted Jelena Ostapenko to reach the Wimbledon final
Ostapenko had come through an entertaining quarter-final against fellow big-hitter Dominika Cibulkova but faced a more defensive challenge in the shape of former world No 1 Kerber.
The Latvian hit 18 winners in the opening set but it was her 19 unforced errors to her opponent’s two that cost her the opening set.
And the 21-year-old became visibly frustrated at her inability to keep the ball in play at the beginning of the second set, quickly slipping 0-3 down.
There was an Ostapenko fightback to be resisted and she pumped up the crowd with a raised arm when she broke back at 5-1, saving a match point in the process, to take the match a few minutes later.
Jelena Ostapenko was disappointed not to have played her best and produced 35 unforced errors
But eventually it fittingly finished with a forehand that was blazed wide, prompting an almighty scream from Kerber who will now face either Serena Williams or Julia Goerges in Saturday’s final.
“It was a really tough match, she always plays great tennis,” Kerber said.
“She hits the ball really hard. I was trying to move good and take my chances when I have them.
Angelique Kerber’s movement and defence was too good for Jelena Ostapenko
“It’s such a great feeling to be back in the final.
“[Ostapenko] is always fighting until the last point and you have to win the last point and then the match is over.
“I was just trying to stay focused on every single point.
“It’s quite tough but I’m really happy that I’m through.”