SERENA WILLIAMS • 10s MOM BATTLES INTO HER 11th WIMBLEDON SEMIFINAL

Written by: on 10th July 2018
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Wimbledon Championships
SERENA WILLIAMS • 10s MOM BATTLES INTO HER 11th WIMBLEDON SEMIFINAL

epa06875743 Serena Williams of the United States returns to Evgeniya Rodina of Russia during their fourth round match at the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, in London, Britain, 09 July 2018. EPA-EFE/NEIL HALL EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO COMMERCIAL SALES  |
Serena Williams of the United States returns to Evgeniya Rodina of Russia during their fourth round match at the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, in London, Britain, 09 July 2018. EPA-EFE/NEIL HALL

 

 

By Richard Pagliario

 

Surrendering a set for the first time in this Wimbledon fortnight, Serena Williams answered with emphatic intensity, dynamic drives and blistering serves off the back wall.

 

Tennis’ fiercest front-runner showed she still owns commanding closing power roaring past Camila Giorgi, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, into her 11th Wimbledon semifinal.

 

Tested for the first time this tournament, Williams rocketed six of her seven aces and won 19 of 22 service points in the final set to subdue an explosive opponent in one hour, 42 minutes.

 

It is Williams’ 19th consecutive Wimbledon win and her toughest test on Centre Court since she defeated Angelique Kerber, in the 2016 final for her 22nd career Grand Slam title.

 

Serena Williams of the US celebrates her win over Camila Giorgi of Italy in their quarter final match during the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, in London, Britain, 10 July 2018. EPA-EFE/NIC BOTHMA

“I feel good; I feel I did better today,” Williams said. “I had to. This is only my fourth tournament back so I don’t feel pressure. I don’t feel I have to win this. I don’t feel I have to lose this. I’m just here to be here and prove that I’m back.”

 

The world No. 181, the lowest-ranked player to reach a Wimbledon quarterfinal, stands as a heavy favorite to capture her eighth Wimbledon crown.

 

Just 10 months after giving birth to daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian, the 36-year-old Williams now stands one win from her 10th Wimbledon final and two victories from equaling Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slam titles.

 

The 25th-seeded Williams will play Julia Goerges for a spot in the final.

 

Contesting her first career major quarterfinal, the 13th-seeded German rallied past Kiki Bertens, 3-6, 7-5, 6-1, converting four of 12 break points in a one hour, 57-minute triumph.

 

Before a packed Centre Court crowd that included Hall of Famer Billie Jean King and partner Ilana Kloss, Justin Timberlake and wife Jessica Biel and musician and avid Serena fan Drake, Williams and Giorgi produced pulsating first-strike tennis.

 

“Every time I play Giorgi she always plays that level,” said Williams, whose coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, previously worked with Giorgi during her junior days. “But I notice she plays that level against everyone so that’s pretty impressive she always plays that way. I knew going in it was not going to be easy.

 

For the first time in Open Era history, all Top 10 seeded women failed to reach the quarterfinals, with several seeds shrinking beneath the pressure.

 

Neither Williams nor Giorgi possess a shred of shot reticence in their DNA. These two never met a ball they didn’t believe they could crush and the result was some pyrotechnic shot making.

 

The two lowest-ranked women still standing in the field both bring high heat on serve. Forgoing the early feeling-out period both were hitting big strikes from the start.

 

Cracking serves over 112 mph, Giorgi dodged break point to open. Williams answered with successive love holds.

 

Standing 5’6″, Giorgi glides around the court as smoothly as a figure skater and packs a jolting punch on all strokes.

 

The Grand Slam quarterfinal debutante drilled successive aces and a crackling forehand crosscourt holding for 3-2.

 

The former No. 1 won nine consecutive points on serve a the start (it could have been 10 had Williams challenged an incorrect out call), but netted a mid-court forehand then shanked a backhand as Giorgi drew first blood breaking for 4-2.

 

Rarely do you see the 23-time Grand Slam champion overpowered.

 

Yet that’s exactly what Giorgi did for one set. Down triple break point in the following game, Giorgi dug in and denied all three then saved a fourth break point, eventually holding for 5-2.

 

The Italian commanded the center of the court, out-served the most imposing server in WTA history and beat the power player to the punch building a one-set lead.

 

Fending off five break points, Giorgi took her first set from Williams, who had swept their prior six sets.

 

The world No. 52 was one set from becoming the first Italian woman to reach a Wimbledon semifinal. Williams was in no mood for consolation prizes.

 

Dropping a Wimbledon set for the first time since the 2016 second round when she lost the opening set to Christina McHale, Williams knew she was in a fierce fight and responded elevating her intensity and accuracy to start the second set.

 

“She’s capable of playing really good,” Williams said of Giorgi. “I feel like she always gives 100 [percent] every single match. [After the] first set, I said let’s go three sets. That’s kind of what I thought. It wasn’t any kind of surprise. I just keep fighting.”

 

Digging out of a love-30 hole, Williams held for 2-1 then quickly applied pressure earning double break point. On her second break point, Williams whipped a forehand return right down the middle before smacking a side-spinning forehand into the corner breaking for 3-1.

 

Snapping off serves with authority, the world No. 181 used the slider serve to set up a slick backhand strike down the line confirming the break in the fifth game.

 

Dive-bombing second serves deep in the box, Williams rolled through a love hold for 5-2. By then, Giorgi’s first-serve percentage had dropped from 54 percent in the first set to 43 percent in the second, but she stayed in step as Williams sailed returns forcing the American to serve it out.

 

The seven-time champion erupted in a rousing “Come on!” serving out the second set at 30 to force a decider. Williams won 14 of 18 first-serve points in the second set and was more engaged on return as well.

 

For the first time in the fortnight, a Centre Court singles match went to a deciding set.

 

Dialing in her returns, Williams whipped a forehand for triple break point. When the lithe Italian rushed net, Williams stood her ground in the backhand corner bolting a backhand pass down the line to break for 2-1 with a double fist pump.

 

An emotionally-charged Williams took her game to a level Giorgi could not match working through a firm hold in the fourth game.

 

Serving with new balls, Serena dropped the hammer. Dotting the service line to open the game, Williams rocketed her sixth ace sealing a love hold to stamp a 5-3 lead.

 

Slashing an ace down the middle brought Williams to triple match point and when Giorgi pasted a forehand into net, Williams’ revival was complete.

 

Want a quick laugh From Dusan Vemic? click below

https://www.instagram.com/p/BkA_1JKDvdI/

 

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