Sports

Serena through to semi-finals

Serena through to semi-finals
Serena Williams returns the ball to Alison Riske during their quarterfinal match on day eight of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London. (AP)
London, Jul 9 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 7/9/2019 12:01:12 PM IST

Serena Williams won a thrilling encounter against fellow American Alison Riske to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals on Tuesday and take a step closer to a record-equalling 24th grand slam title.

In a battling performance from start to finish, Williams mounted a fightback to win the first set, lost a tight second, and edged a topsy-turvy third to clinch a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 victory on Centre Court.

Former world No 1 Simona Halep recovered from a slow start to beat Zhang Shuai 7-6, 6-1 and reach her second Wimbledon final on Tuesday.

Much like her fourth round match against 15-year-old Coco Gauff on Monday, Halep initially struggled and looked in real danger when 4-1 down and facing more break points in the opening set. However, the Romanian dug in to see off the threat then played her usual percentage tennis as Zhang lost her way.

“I fought hard in the first set, even if I knew I was 4-1 and she was hitting hard, I knew she would hit with a lot of power. I knew I would have to play aggressively and I did it great,” 2018 French Open champion Halep said.

“I have energy, I feel fresh and confident and I am perhaps playing my best tennis on grass.”

Federer cruises into quarter-finals

Roger Federer reached a record-extending 17th Wimbledon quarter-final with a comprehensive 6-1 6-2 6-2 win over Italian Matteo Berrettini.

In truth, a match that on paper looked as if it might provide his first big test of the tournament as he chases a ninth title was a no-contest as his 23-year-old Italian opponent self-destructed on Centre Court.

From the moment Federer broke in the fourth game with a silky smooth smash, any tactical plan a dazed Berrettini took on court with him unravelled in spectacular fashion.   

After losing the first two sets, Berrettini disappeared off-court - presumably to try and locate a panic room somewhere in the All England Club.   

When he returned Berrettini found even more unusual ways to gift points to eight-time champion Federer, notably when he dribbled a dreadful attempt at a drop-volley into the net with Federer out of position behind the baseline.   

Even the 37-year-old Swiss, anxious to save energy and get off court quickly as dark clouds gathered, looked aghast, shaking his head at the ineptitude of his opponent’s error.   

It was a shame for Berrettini, who was hoping to become only the fifth Italian to reach the quarter-finals here, as he is clearly a much better player than this performance suggested.

There was sympathetic applause from the crowd when he did connect properly, but Federer was having none of it as a sweet volley put Berrettini out of his misery in one hour 14 minutes.   

Second seed Federer will face eighth-seeded Japanese Kei Nishikori for a place in the semi-finals.


-Tags:#Serena

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