Wimbledon: Serena Williams makes her charge as top seeds fall

Heather Diaz
July 14, 2018

Seven-times champion Serena Williams prevailed in a Centre Court mothers' meeting on Monday, roaring past Russian qualifier Evgeniya Rodina into the Wimbledon quarter-finals. Already a grand slam victor in Paris a year ago, she has the arsenal to at least give Williams pause.

She next faces 13th-seeded Julia Goerges, who beat Donna Vekic of Croatia 6-3, 6-2 to secure her first Grand Slam quarterfinal appearance. Looking for breaking news, videos, Olympic and Paralympic team bios all at your fingertips?

This was because the last time he was spotted watching her play, Williams lost in the semifinals of the 2015 US Open, just two wins away from completing the calendar-year Grand Slam. She played a powerful game throughout - averaging a 112 miles per hour first serve on the day and had six total aces and 20 winners.

Jelena Ostapenko showed all her "fighting" qualities to defeat Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova 7-5, 6-4 and become the first Latvian to reach the Wimbledon singles semi-finals.

There was a controlled fury about Williams's play, and when she conjured an off-balance backhand victor to break in the third game of the decider, the outcome was inevitable.

"I'm a perfectionist. I always find something wrong", she said.

Pliskova's exit leaves world No.11 Angelique Kerber as the highest-ranked woman left in the wide open draw.

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Pliskova winced as she struggled with what appeared to be a thigh problem and Bertens dominated a tie-break to march into the last eight, unleashing ferocious forehand winners before finishing it off with an overhead volley that clipped the line. In fact, when I was out there I think that was one thing that was surprising, how well I felt.

And after Williams came up with a comeback to beat 52nd-ranked Camila Giorgi of Italy 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 on Tuesday, she headed off Centre Court with her right index finger aloft. "It's been a while since I've won a championship", Williams said.

"I don't feel like I have the right to win and I don't feel like I have the right to lose".

Having crashed out in the first round at Wimbledon for five consecutive times, Goerges' emotions spilled over at the end of the match after she embraced Bertens at the net. The same "stay tuned" premise applies to every time Williams heads into a match, given they are rarely anything other than a privilege to watch. Serena Williams makes it 0-40 on Goerges serve but needs just one to close out the match.

"It is a great opportunity to play Serena here where she has won so many times and is a great champion".

"It never happened to me that the umpire changed the decision", Cibulkova said.

Williams broke in the second game of the match, then roared loudly when she saved a break point in the seventh before a double fault from Rodina handed her the first set.

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