Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

Pressure? What pressure? Composure key to Serena's latest Wimbledon win

Serena Williams rallies to reach Wimbledon semifinals So easy for Serena as she rolls into quarter-finals
Frederick Owens | 14 July, 2018, 05:16

Seven-time champion Williams has won all three of her meetings with first-time Grand Slam quarterfinalist Camila Giorgi, with the most recent coming in the first round of the 2016 Australian Open.

The 21-year-old 12th seed ended Dominika Cibulkova's inspired run with a 7-5 6-4 win before Kerber outclassed Russian 14th seed Daria Kasatkina 6-3 7-5.

At only her fourth tournament since returning from maternity leave, Williams is now just two matches away from an eighth Wimbledon title and equalling Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 majors. "I won the first set, and then she played well, but I'm happy with the way I played".

Williams next will face No. 13 seed Julia Goerges on Thursday in the semifinals. Williams hasn't lost a set against Goerges in three previous matches, including a victory last month at the French Open (6-3, 6-4) in the round of 32.

Williams, now the world number 181 having slipped down the rankings following her maternity leave, is the lowest-ranked player to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals in the open era. But Julia Goerges can not afford to bring any sense of deference to their semi-final, given this is her big chance to reach a first grand slam singles final.

Williams, asked whether she's felt any pressure during this tournament, said, "This is only my fourth tournament back".

Williams hit six of her seven aces in the final set, including one clocked at 122 miles per hour, and won 44 of the last 54 points she served.

She will face German world number 10 Kerber on Saturday in a repeat of the 2016 showpiece won by Williams.

And it was the German 29-year-old who took control of the second set with a break.

Despite this, and how it looked from the outside, Williams claimed she was never in any doubt that she would emerge victorious.

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"It was a very tough match but I was just trying to enjoy it".

Pliskova was soon again presented with opportunities to even the set, but this time Bertens fended off the Czech's attack, saving all four for a 5-3 lead. When she served for it a second time, she needed to navigate a 16-point game that included five deuces and all of those match points, until forcing a forehand error on the last one.

Germany's Julia Goerges apologised after beating close friend Kiki Bertens to progress to the first semi-final of her career at Wimbledon.

"I have a long way to go".

With no top-10 seeds making the quarterfinals for the first time in Wimbledon history, 11th-seeded Kerber is the highest-ranked player left in the hunt for the Venus Rosewater Dish.

"Every match starts from zero", Goerges said.

"I am fighting till the end and it helps me gain more confidence".

Bertens tried to recover and clinched a break of her own but Goerges was not to be denied and levelled the match. "A lot", she said. Kerber, a two-time Grand Slam champion who was runner-up at Wimbledon in 2016, will be playing former French Open victor Jelena Ostapenko on Thursday.

It took a period of accepting the nuances of the surface, to see the results that have taken her further than in any other Grand Slam.

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