Keep calm and carry on: Williams serene at Wimbledon

Dominika Cibulkova

Dominika Cibulkova

In fact, this is her first career Grand Slam semifinal - even though many expected her to reach this stage much sooner. "To be here. To be in the semifinals. 'I'll just keep fighting,"' Williams said. But when it actually happens, it still is, like, 'Wow, this is really happening'.

"I feel like it takes time to get there". "Sometimes I feel I can fight".

"I'm ok, I feel good, I feel like I did better today, I had to". Sure, there weren't a lot of long points, so maybe that's why I wasn't out of breath.

Williams needs to beat two seeded opponents to win her 24th major title, tying Margaret Court's record for Grand Slam wins.

All eyes were on 36-year-old mum Williams to see how she would respond to such a challenge to her supremacy at Wimbledon, where she is unbeaten since 2014.

That is going to change now. Giorgi gave Williams a battle, with Williams dropping the first set.

Williams never was anxious about losing. She delivered three aces to the American's one in the first set and won 84% of points on her first serve.

"I don't have many words today to describe the moment I'm going through right now".

Li Na said she was stunned by Serena Williams' impressive comeback from giving birth and said her old rival has a golden chance to reclaim her Wimbledon crown. Williams looked uncomfortable and lost the first set 6-3, and with the way Giorgi was handling the match, it seemed like Williams was in serious trouble.

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'I'm looking forward now to the semis here. Just having two in the last four again is a boost to the country's tennis, Goerges said. "Stay tuned for the next episode, Serena Williams Centre Court".

Giorgi, the pocket-sized Italian who is ranked 52nd in the world, has been one of the surprise packages of the tournament, getting to her first grand slam quarter-final with some line-painting attacking ground strokes and a potent first serve.

Kerber, the former world No.1 and runner-up to Williams in 2016, plays Latvia's 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in Thursday's second semi-final after outclassing Russian 14th seed Daria Kasatkina 6-3 7-5.

In the clash between the players who dropped the fewest games en route to the last eight, the Latvian had to call the trainer to put ice on her leg in the middle of the first set. To be so small, you know, she brings so much power and energy on the court.

Li said she did not miss playing on the tour, but did miss the rough and tumble of testing herself against the best.

Williams is back in action at Wimbledon following a hiatus from the tennis circuit after becoming a mother a year ago (17).

Having pushed Kerber to three deuces in her opening service game, two double faults from Kasatkina promptly gifted the German a break and a 3-0 lead.

Pliskova crashed to a 6-3 7-6 (7-1) to big-hitting Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens, leaving 11th seed Angelique Kerber as the highest-ranked player left in the wide open draw. She completed the match with 33 winners to Cibulkova's 6 and 28 unforced errors to 13.

Goerges had gone out in the first round at Wimbledon for the past five years.

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