Serena Williams on reaching the Wimbledon semi-finals: 'Wow, is this really happening?'

Andrew Hendrie in Wimbledon 10 Jul 2018
  • Serena Williams is back into the Wimbledon semi-finals
  • Serena is playing just her fourth tournament since January 2017
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Serena Williams

Serena Williams admits she’s surprised to be one of the four women left standing at Wimbledon 2018 following her fighting three-set victory over Camila Giorgi in Tuesday’s quarter-finals.


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In just her fourth tournament since winning the 2017 Australian Open, 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams advanced into the Wimbledon semi-finals for the 11th time after coming from behind to edge the explosive Giorgi 3-6 6-3 6-4 - extending her record of winning Grand Slam matches after dropping the first set to an incredible 39, which is 11 more than the next best (Chris Evert with 28).

Facing life-threatening complications when giving birth to her first child in September last year, the mere fact that Williams is out there competing with the world’s best is a phenomenal achievement - let alone beating them and now being just two wins away from an incredible 24th major title. The win over Giorgi propels Williams from No. 183 in the world - which incidentally is the lowest ranking of any woman to make the Wimbledon semi-finals - to No. 51 regardless of whether she beats Julia Goerges in the final four. But such is the competitive nature of arguably the best tennis player - male of female - in history, Williams, at 36 years of age, is far from content with that number - or at least one of them.

"Well, it's better than 183," she said. "But ‘Serena Williams, 51’ doesn't have that same ring to it. The '1' part does, but not the '5'. Got to keep trekking on.”

And keep trekking on she will. Williams is now on a 19-match winning streak at Wimbledon dating back to 2015, when she beat Garbine Muguruza for the title. The legendary American returned 12 months later to defend her crown with a victory over Angelique Kerber, while she missed last year’s Championships as she prepared to give birth to daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.

After a patchy comeback in Indian Wells and Miami - and a withdrawal from the French Open last month - Williams didn’t enter Wimbledon with high expectations, and she still can’t quite believe what she has achieved in making the semi-finals.

"I think everything right now is a little bit of a surprise," Serena told reporters. "To be here, to be in the semifinals. I mean, I always say I plan on it, I would like to be there, have these goals. But when it actually happens, it still is, like, 'Wow, this is really happening.'"

Former men’s World No. 1 Andy Murray also praised Williams, declaring her the player to beat heading into the final four.

"Coming back from giving birth, she looks like she's in great shape," Murray told the BBC. "After Indian Wells, Miami, she spoke a little bit at the time that she'd maybe come back a little bit too soon. She then went away and did a pretty hard training period to get ready for the French Open - didn't quite happen for her there.
"She's playing extremely well here, and it would be tough to bet against her [winning the title] now that she's this far into the tournament."

Williams takes a 3-0 record into her semi-final showdown with German 13th seed Goerges, including a straight sets victory at the French Open last month. But the American has been around long enough to know that result carries no weight in completely different circumstances on the grass of Wimbledon in a Grand Slam semi-final.

"I played Julia in the French. That was four or five weeks ago. That doesn't matter. This is a whole new match, it's a new surface, it's everything. We're starting from zero.
"I'm going to go out there and just do what I can, do my best, see what happens."


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Serena Williams on reaching the Wimbledon semi-finals: 'Wow, is this really happening?'

Serena Williams admits she’s surprised to be one of the four women left standing at Wimbledon 2018 following her fighting three-set victory over Camila Giorgi in Tuesday’s quarter-finals.

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