Williams is bidding to secure a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title – and an eighth Wimbledon singles title – this year, and stands one win away from a place in the final, and potentially her first Grand Slam victory as a mother.
The 10th-ranked American has had to fight through the draw from a lower ranking, due to her absence from the calendar to have her first child. And it’s been far from plain sailing as she’s had to battle against stubborn opposition, as well as deal with a niggling knee injury, en route to Thursday’s semi-final round.
Standing in her way is world number 54 Czech Strycova, who has never been ranked higher than 16th in the world and is in uncharted territory in the semi-finals of Wimbledon – she’s never ventured past the third round previously.
But the Czech’s performances on court in London have impressed as, like Williams, she has dropped just one set on her journey to the semi-finals. The unseeded 33-year-old has also eliminated four seeded players along the way, knocking out Lesia Tsurenko, Kiki Bertens, Elise Mertens and Johanna Konta.
But now she faces the toughest test of her career against Williams, who she has faced three times before – all at Grand Slam tournaments – without winning a single set.