Williams, seeded 25th after her maternity break, would not be the first player to take time off to have a baby and return to win Wimbledon but it has not happened for 38 years since Australian Evonne Goolagong beat American Chris Evert in 1980.
After giving birth to her daughter, Olympia, on September 1, Williams dealt with health complications that included blood clots and led to what she said were multiple operations.
Williams says the problems she faced after giving birth have left her in constant fear of new complications arising with a pulmonary embolism.
It's insane. I don't even know how to feel because I literally didn't think I'd do this well in my fourth tournament back.
"Seeing her back, it's great", said Kerber, who has lost six of eight previous matches against Williams. I had multiple surgeries and almost didn't make it when I gave birth.
She broke in the sixth game of the first set when Gorges went wide and then took the set on the German's serve when her opponent sent a forehand wide.
By the end, Ostapenko had far more winners, 30-10, but also far more unforced errors, 36-7.
After tumbling out of the top 10 past year, the German left-hander appears back to the blistering form that carried her to the top ranking and three major finals in 2016, including grand slam triumphs in Melbourne and NY.
"Kerber maybe edges it on movement, but Serena wins everything else: serve, return of serve, pace, variety, experience, you name it", Navratilova said.
There were moments when watching Goerges made it easy to wonder how it could be possible she never had been past a major's fourth round until now.
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Serena Williams has reflected on how far she's come since giving birth to her daughter, after winning her Wimbledon semi-final.
But she couldn't keep up with Williams, who grabbed 18 of 22 points and five consecutive games to close the first set and begin the next.
"I don't know if it's been the toughest, because I have Olympia". "That was the hardest part, accepting that I didn't".
Writing on her former blog, The Tig, the Duchess of Sussex said: "Taking pictures, laughing through the flag football game we were both playing and chatting not about tennis or acting, but about all the good old fashioned girly stuff".
How do you beat her?
She is by far the most unsafe player the American has faced so far this fortnight and is on something of a comeback trail herself after a slump in 2017.
Saturday's final will be a re-match of the 2016 showpiece, which Williams won. "It's not inevitable for me to be playing like this". She went on to win her final three major singles titles in 1973, including the Australian Open less than a year after childbirth.
That Serena, who is among the grittiest and most mentally strong player on tour, has such thoughts and overcomes them, speaks volumes about her determination to compete.
But, at a time when so many of her peers have long since retired, Williams is still pushing her body through the gruelling hours of training and practice required to repel the challenge from players often half her age. "There was a time I could barely walk to my mailbox", said Williams.
But when the steely-eyed Williams imposed her iron will, the challenger was unable to reply, dropping five games straight to surrender the first set and fall behind in the second.