Germany's Angelique Kerber is in to the semifinals at Wimbledon for the third time as she sets her sights on a third Grand Slam win. After a number of shocks, the 30-year-old is the highest ranked woman left in the draw.
It took her seven match points to seal the deal but Angelique Kerber finally got past Daria Kasatkina 6-3, 7-5 to set up a semifinal with world no. 12 Jelena Ostapenko on Thursday.
Despite her trouble finishing things off, Kerber, a finalist in 2016, looked in fine form for most of the match, racing in to a 4-1 lead in the first set before Kasatkina fought back to 4-3. But the Russian then handed the initiative back to Kerber with a double fault and the German closed out the opener.
The second set saw six consecutive breaks of serve before Kerber finally grabbed the advantage at 6-5. An exceptional series of rallies followed as Kasatkina tried to stay alive before a driven forehand from Kerber finally forced the error and booked her spot in the last four.
"I was just thinking that I was running everywhere on the court," Kerber said after the match. "She was playing very well. I was not thinking too much. I was just playing another point and trying to take the match in my hands.
"I don’t care who I’m playing against. You have to play your best. We are in the semis now. I will have my ice bath like always and then a day off tomorrow and look forward to the next match."
Seeded 11, Kerber is the highest ranked player still in the tournament and the draw throws up the possibility of a repeat of that 2016 final, when Serena Williams beat Kerber to equal Steffi Graf's record of 22 Grand Slam wins.
Williams shows incredible fight
Despite losing the first set, Serena Williams stormed back to secure her spot in the semifinals. After a brilliant start from Italian Camila Giorgi, Williams raised her intensity in the second set and her ball striking quickly became a problem for her unseeded opponent.
"I felt like I did better today, I had to, but this is only my fourth tournament back so I don't feel any pressure and have to win this," she said after her 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory.
Williams will face Germany's Julia Görges, whose magical Wimbledon run continued Tuesday when she beat Dutch 20th seed Kiki Bertens 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 to reach her first Grand Slam singles semifinal.
Tomorrow, Court One sees Roger Federer take on big-serving Kevin Anderson and then Milos Raonic will battle John Isner. On Centre Court, Novak Djokovic faces Kei Nishikori before Juan Martin del Potro, who sealed a four-set win against Gilles Simon on Tuesday morning, takes on in-form Rafael Nadal.
mp/jh (dpa, ap)