JULY 10, 2018
Having cruised through her first four matches here, the question was asked of Serena Williams if she would rather have had a tough test to see exactly where her game is at. On Tuesday, she received that test, and she passed it with flying colors. The seven-time champion dropped her first set of the tournament to Italy’s Camila Giorgi but came through 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 to reach the semi-finals for the 11th time.
World No 52 Giorgi blasted 20 winners and really took it to Williams, taking the first set thanks to one break, in the sixth game. But the 36-year-old Williams, back at Wimbledon after missing last year when she was pregnant with her first child, dug in, upped her game and reeled Giorgi in. By the time she was done, she had hit 20 winners and only 14 unforced errors in a match of high quality on both sides.
“I knew going in it was not going to be an easy match,” said Williams, who now plays 13th seed Julia Goerges of Germany, who beat Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 over on Court No 1. “Every time I play Giorgi, she always plays that level, but she plays like that against everybody.
“I don’t know what I did (to turn things round). After the first set, I just said, let’s go three sets. I just kept fighting. I feel god, I feel like I did better today, I had to. But this is only my fourth tournament back (so) I don’t feel pressure, I don’t feel like I have to win this. But I feel like I’m back.”
Giorgi, in her first grand slam quarter-final, was trying to become the first ever Italian woman to make the semi-finals here. In front of a Centre Court crowd that included Justin Timberlake, Jessica Biel and Drake, Giorgi stood inside the baseline to return the Williams serve, never yielding ground and pushing the American to withstand her power. The Italian came from 0-40 down to hold for 5-3 and then, despite a double-fault, she held to take the set.
Once Williams had figured out how to break the Giorgi serve, though, in the fourth game of the second set, the momentum changed. From then on, the result felt inevitable as she served beautifully, levelling the match and then, after a stunning backhand to break for 2-1 in the decider, she eased through the set, serving out to love to take her place in the last four.
Courtesy: The Guardian