Serena Williams had to fight her way into the semis, by getting past Victoria Azarenka. She was down in the first set, but always seems to play better under pressure. She will have to face Maria Sharapova, who just beat Coco Vandeweghe of the U.S. in Tuesday’s match in London.
Azarenka beat the No. 1 ranked tennis player in the first set in just over 30 minutes, but Williams is not one to fold under pressure. She came back hard in the next two sets to win seven games in a row. The world’s No. 1 ranked tennis player had control of the match after the first set. In 14 matches, Williams was forced to go to three sets, which she won every time. She hit 14 aces in those last two sets, and the win brings her to a 17-3 record against Azarenka.
After the match, the press asked the No. 1 ranked tennis player how it felt to be playing against Sharapova, to which she replied that even though it had been five years since they played at Wimbledon, Sharapova is playing so well and is such a fighter. Williams said she had nothing to lose and was going into the match with everything she had.
Sharapova beat Vandeweghe in her quarterfinal match, which Vandeweghe did not take so well, by accusing her opponent of moving around while she was setting up her serve in the second set. The umpire did not think Sharapova was hindering her, which would be against the rules. Vandeweghe said that it was unsportsmanlike of Sharapova.
Earlier this year in the Australian Open, Williams and Sharapova played in the final, which the No. 1 player won 6-3, 7-6, (7-5). This win makes 26 matches in a row that the No. 1 ranked tennis player won. This time the two top tennis players will play for the chance to go to the Wimbledon final. Two more wins for the world’s No. 1 and she will have won four major tournaments during the calendar year, which would be a Grand Slam. Williams won four tournaments in a row in 2002-2003, but it was a non-calendar year, which did not count as a Grand Slam. Williams fought her way into the semis, and she will more than likely do the same to win and go to the final match at Wimbledon. Not since Steffi Graf won the last Grand Slam in 1988, has anyone been able to win four in the same calendar year.
The No. 1 ranked tennis player came up with a huge serve when she needed it and was able to dominate the second and third sets on center court. After the match, Williams told the press that she has been up and down so much, that she does not know how she is still in it but is just happy she is.
Azarenka said to the press after the match, “We just saw why Serena is No. 1” Azarenka was also at a No. 1 ranking not too long ago. The world’s No. 1 said they were both having fun on the court, and it was such a joy playing at Wimbledon. Not many were surprised to see Williams fight her way to the semis, and everyone expects her to fight just as hard in the next two matches.
By Katherine Miller-Chichester
The Washington Post: Serena Williams comes back to earn semi final berth
USA Today: Serena Williams battles passed Victoria Azarenka into Wimbledon semis
ESPN: Serena slam hopes intact after Williams drops Victoria Azarenka
Top Photo Courtesy of Katherine Shann’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inline Photo Courtesy of Splitmilk’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License