It worked. The 11th-seeded Kerber reached her second final at the All England Club by avoiding too many mistakes and using a seven-game run to seize control for a 6-3, 6-3 victory over the 12th-seeded Ostapenko on Thursday.
"I think the Centre Court is much slower than the other courts I played on before", the 12th seed said.
"I had a really tough delivery and multiple surgeries and nearly didn't make it, to be honest".
Certainly didn't take long for the 36-year-old American to get her game in gear and close in on what would be an eighth Wimbledon title, one short of Martina Navratilova's record, and 24th Grand Slam trophy in all, equalling Margaret Court's all-time mark. She will play for the Wimbledon title on Saturday after giving birth just 10 months ago.
"This was not inevitable for me", Williams said after the match, which took 70 minutes to complete.
After hitting five aces with a serve that reached 119 miles per hour, delivering 16 winners to only seven unforced errors, and covering the court so well with speed and effort against Goerges, Williams will face another German, 11th-seeded Angelique Kerber, on Saturday.
To put that in perspective, the 36-year-old Williams, who had to have emergency surgery due to blood clot issues that could have been life threatening during the birth, spoke about the huge challenges she's overcome after winning her Wimbledon semi-final.
"To be perfectly honest, I haven't thought about that [Court's record] this tournament", Williams told reporters. "For me, I only see joy out of it".
"For me, having to deal with PEs is more mentally challenging because if I have a pain in my leg, I automatically go to the worst-case scenario", she said.
Following another two months away from competition, she entered the French Open in late May, and won three matches before pulling out before the fourth round because of an injured pectoral muscle. "It's all about opening a small window and taking that chance because, once she gets going, it's lights out".
Despite losing the match, Goerges said she was proud of her performance in her first semi-final at the All England Club.
Hardly so. And Williams has made a point of raising the curtain on her rocky road back to make a larger point to women who feel overwhelmed by the changes in their bodies, emotions and priorities following childbirth. Rumors have been circling for weeks that the new Duchess of Sussex would attend Wimbledon to cheer on her good friend, tennis legend Serena Williams.
It was the first time at these championships that the American had faced a player ranked in the top 50 and she stepped up with a powerful display that also showed better movement around the court than in previous rounds. "I think she's incredibly confident". Win one while holding a baby in her arms?
Serena was pictured with her husband, Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian, at the Royal Wedding in May. "There was a time I could barely walk to my mailbox", said Williams.
The German, having ended a wonderful 2016 with the U.S. Open title, failed to win on the WTA Tour in 2017 and did not go beyond the fourth round of a major.
But her hunger to return is not just dependent on records.