February 19, 2019

Serena Williams fights back to reach Wimbledon semi-finals

14 July 2018, 05:15 | Anna Jefferson

So easy for Serena as she rolls into quarter-finals

Serena Williams rallies to reach Wimbledon semifinals

With Angelique Kerber also having made the last four, it is the first time two German women will play in the Wimbledon semi-finals since 1931.

Kerber came out on top of a spectacular 25-shot rally to force the all-important match point number seven, and finally got the job done as Kasatkina netted a forehand, the German relieved to be a 6-3 7-5 victor.

When Williams was asked her expectations after winning her first match at Wimbledon in two years, she said, "Not only do I expect to win, I expect to win emphatically". "But also, I've never been ranked where I am", Williams said Monday after her fourth straight-set victory of the fortnight.

She'll face Germany's Julia Gorges in the semifinals on Thursday at the All England Club. "I'm fighting to the end and it helps me, gives me more confidence", said the youngest player left in the draw.

Hungry as ever, Serena Williams expressed huge relief after surviving her first scare of the tournament to remain firmly on track for an eighth Wimbledon women's singles crown - and first as a mother.

But, hitting her serve with more ferocity, Serena wrestled back control of the match with a crucial break in the fourth game of the second set.

Told she is guaranteed of rising to 51st next week - and higher if she reaches the final or wins the championship - Williams joked: "Got to keep trekking on, though".

Goerges and Kerber have already accomplished something not seen at Wimbledon since 1931 by putting two Germans in the women's semifinals.

Having shaken off the rust following her lengthy lay-off after the complications with Olympia's birth, Serena is on the verge of a 30th Grand Slam final berth.

Williams lifted her intensity in the second set, avoiding any break points as she secured one break of her own.

She explained: "I changed my approach to the surface". I'm just like an artist and I'm playing with the heart, yeah.

Kerber took advantage of Kasatkina's erratic serving and errors to return to the last four.

Serena Williams has surprised herself by reaching the semi-finals on her Wimbledon comeback. For me, there's so much further I want to go to get back where I was, and hopefully, go beyond that. The Italian took the first set six games to three.

In a match that featured eight breaks of serve - four in the first five games - Ostapenko was able to elevate her game in the crucial moments. However, the 13th seed has proved she knows how to win a close match. Both two-time Grand Slam champion Kerber and 21-year-old Kasatkina reached the quarterfinals at last month's French Open. "These are the matches I was working for since I was a kid".

Considering what she went through during a traumatic labour nine months ago, since when she has played only a handful of matches, Williams's physical condition has been impressive.

"It's an honor to share the court with her", Goerges said.

Williams has won her first five matches against unseeded opponents.

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