Serena wins, through to semi-finals

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US player Serena Williams serves against Italy’s Camila Giorgi during their women’s singles quarter-final match on the eighth day of the 2018 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 10, 2018. Williams won the match 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. Oli SCARFF / AFP

Serena Williams survived a stiff challenge by Italian Camila Giorgi and won 3/6; 6/3; 6/4 to reach her 11th semi-final in Wimbledon. Angelique Kerber of Germany prevailed over Daria Kasatkina of Russia 6/3; 7/5. Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia defeated Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia 7/5; 6/4, while Julia Goerges of Germany outlasted Kiki Bertens of Netherlands 3/6; 7/5; 6/1 in one hour and 56 minutes.

Serena’s epic match on Centre Court lasted one hour and 42 minutes. The Italian took the first set six games to three. The 26-year old Camila came to Wimbledon ranked 52 and defeated Elina Makarova in the previous round. She took the first set off Serena, 6-3. In the second set, Williams served first and held but Giorgi leveled. Serena was behind 0-30 but leveled to take the third game. That was a critical stage of the contest, as the American broke her opponent to lead 3-1 and sped quickly to hold serve for 4 games to 1. Giorgi reduced the tally but the set proceeded with serve to end 6-3 for Serena.

In the third set, Camila held to register first on the scoreboard but Serena charged back immediately to hold her serve and then take Camila’s serve at love to lead 3-1. Camila served brilliantly to reduce the tally but the Serena’s unrelenting attack sustained the gap to 5-3. Camila did not drop a point on her serve before clinching the ninth game. Ever a great front runner, Serena stepped up to serve for the set and match, winning the first two points and delivered an ace to reach 40-0. On the first match point, an extended exchange ended with a Camila backhand shot into the net. As Serena waved her hands to four points of the stadium in jubilant celebration, Camila Giorgi departed the arena in a hurry.

The other semi-final matches. Germany’s Angelique Kerber was dominant in her battle against Daria Kasatkina the 14th seeded lady. Kerber took the first set 6-3. The second set, was prolonged but the former Champion came through 7/5 after 1 hour and 29 minutes.

The 12th seed, Jelena Ostapenko prevailed over world number 33, Dominika Cibulkova 7/5; 6/4. The match between Germany’s Julia Goerges and Netherland’s Kiki Bertens went the full hull. Bertens won the first set 6-3 and was close to victory in the second before losing it 5 games to 7. Thereafter, it was a one-way run for the 13th seeded German player who won the decider by six games to one.

When the Wimbledon Management Committee gave Serena Williams a concessional seeding for the 25th slot, it stirred controversy; especially among the female players, because the American was ranked 181 before Wimbledon. Commenting on the matter before the championships commenced, Martina Navratilova said: “Forget the rankings; Serena is a contender for the title.” That prediction has held true so far, as the holder of 23 Grand Slam titles chases her eighth Wimbledon Tray, in her quest of another trophy for the record books.

In the semi-final match-ups, Serena Williams will face Julia Goerges while Jelena Ostapenko will battle another German lady, Angelique Kerber.