Serena makes semifinals

Serena Williams
Serena Williams
Image: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Serena Williams survived a major scare before sealing her 11th Wimbledon semifinal appearance, while Angelique Kerber remains the seven-time champion’s main title rival after the German joined her in the last four on Tuesday.

Williams was in danger of a stunning quarterfinal exit after world No 52 Camila Giorgi became the first player in this year’s tournament to take a set off the former world No 1.

But Williams bludgeoned her way out of trouble, winning 3-6 6-3 6-4 to stay on course for an eighth All England Club triumph.

It was her 100th career main draw victory on grass.

The 36-year-old will play German 13th seed Julia Goerges on Thursday for a place in Saturday’s final.

“I knew after the first set, ‘all right, let’s go three sets’. I’ll just keep fighting,” Williams said.

“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.”

Williams is into the 35th Grand Slam semifinal of her career and her first since winning last year’s Australian Open.

Having shaken off the rust following her lengthy lay-off after the birth of her daughter Olympia in September, Williams is on the verge of a 10th Wimbledon final appearance.

Her path to the title has been wide open from early in the tournament as Garbine Muguruza, Maria Sharapova, Simona Halep, Petra Kvitova, Venus Williams, Caroline Wozniacki and Sloane Stephens have all been eliminated.

Serena, a 23-time major winner, is hoping to join a select group of women who have won Grand Slams after becoming mothers.

Goerges advanced to the Wimbledon semifinals for the first time with a 3-6 7-5 6-1 win against Dutch 20th seed Kiki Bertens.

Goerges had suffered five successive opening-round defeats at the All England Club before this year.

It also took her until her 42nd Grand Slam appearance to finally get through to the last four at a major.

“It is a great opportunity to play Serena here where she has won so many times and is a great champion,” Goerges said.

With Kerber also in the last four, it is the first time two German women have made the semifinals of a Grand Slam since Steffi Graf and Anke Huber at the 1993 French Open.

The carnage at the top leaves 11th seed Kerber – beaten by Serena in the 2016 Wimbledon final – as the highestranked player left. Kerber takes on Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko in the other semifinal.

The 30-year-old clinched her third appearance in the Wimbledon semifinals with a 6-3 7-5 win over Russian 14th seed Daria Kasatkina

Kerber will be playing in the seventh Grand Slam semifinal of her career.

Ostapenko is the first Latvian woman to reach a Wimbledon semifinal after beating Dominika Cibulkova 7-5 6-4.

Just four years ago, Ostapenko was winning the junior Wimbledon title and now the youngest player left in the women’s singles is only one win away from the final.

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