News ID: 218116
Published: 0229 GMT July 11, 2018

Serena Williams battles back for Wimbledon semi spot

Serena Williams battles back for Wimbledon semi spot
Serena Williams celebrates her quarterfinals victory over Italy’s Camila Giorgi at Wimbledon in London, Britain, on July 10, 2018.
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Serena Williams survived a scare to reach the Wimbledon semifinals with a comeback victory over hard-hitting Italian Camila Giorgi.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion dropped her first set of the championships but came through 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, BBC Sport reported.

Giorgi, the world number 52, produced the type of power normally associated with her opponent – but the American then found an extra gear.

Williams faces German 13th seed Julia Gorges in Thursday's semifinals.

Before the match, Giorgi had raised eyebrows when, asked about her impression of Williams over the years, she said, "I don't follow women's tennis."

And she certainly played as if undaunted by the reputation and titles of her opponent.

Giorgi's serve was straight out of the Williams book of power. She delivered three aces to the American's one in the first set and won 84 percent of points on her first serve.

It is not often you see Williams scrambling to return a serve or nearly knocked off her feet by the force of a near 120mph delivery – it is more often her dishing that up – but she was given a taste of her own medicine by the fearless Giorgi.

The Italian's average serve speed in each set was higher than Williams', although the American recorded the fastest of the match at 122mph.

With the top 10 seeds making early exits, she has yet to face a player ranked in the top 50. Against Giorgi, she answered any lingering doubts about what might happen if she faced a stiff test – showing she still has the stamina, spirit and shots to carry on collecting Grand Slam titles.

"I feel good, I feel like I did better today, I had to," she told BBC Sport.

"This is only my fourth tournament back so I don't feel pressure, I don't feel I have to win this. I still have a long way to go to be where I was."

The American could become the fourth mum to win a major, after Belgium's Kim Clijsters and Australians Evonne Goolagong Cawley and Margaret Court.

Victory would draw her level with Court's record of 24 Grand Slam crowns.

She will go into the record books as the lowest ranked player – at 181st – to reach a women's semifinal at Wimbledon; yet having dominated the game for so long, she is carrying on where she left off before her maternity break.

Also through to the last four are German 11th seed Angelique Kerber, who beat Russian Daria Kasatkina 6-3, 7-5 and Latvian 12th seed Jelena Ostapenko, who overcame Slovak Dominika Cibulkova 7-5, 6-4.

 

 

   
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