Wimbledon 2018 Women's Semi-Finals

Grant SmithJul 14, 2018

Serena Williams of the United States celebrates winning a point during her women's singles match against Russia's Evgeniya Rodina, on day seven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London, Monday July 9, 2018.

Ominously for the other seven women left in the draw, the 23-time Grand Slam champion, who missed Wimbledon a year ago, but won the title on her previous two visits, insists there is plenty to improve on.

The seven-time champion, who missed the tournament past year as she was pregnant with daughter Olympia, was outplayed by Italian Camila Giorgi in the first set.

Williams, now the world number 181 having slipped down the rankings following her maternity leave, is the lowest-ranked player to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals in the open era. "I'm a perfectionist, I always find something", the 36-year-old said when asked about her near-flawless display. She is seeded 25th after missing last year's tournament while pregnant.

However, Williams lifted her intensity to level, before closing out the match to move a step closer to reclaiming the title she won in 2016.

Not one top-10 seed has made the women's quarterfinals at Wimbledon. Partly due to Giorgi's aggressive style of play - which has in no small part got her to the last eight, she didn't regret taking that style of play to Williams, saying: "No, it's my game, that is why I'm playing well today, so no, I don't regret anything". "I feel like I'm back, but I still have a long way to go to get to where I was". "I don't feel I have to win this; I don't feel I have to lose this", Williams said.

"It wasn't as tight as I was used to", she said last month. She beat the ninth-seeded Williams in the third round after coming from a break down in the third set.

In what was a rare meeting between mothers at this stage of a Grand Slam tournament, Williams was in control throughout a 6-2 6-2 victory.

Russian youngster Kasatkina broke back when Kerber first served for the match, and then saved six match points during an epic final game. It appeared nearly to be a reminder to Giorgi, who said on Monday that she doesn't watch women's tennis.

"It is a great opportunity to play Serena here where she has won so many times and is a great champion". Giorgi didn't provide much perspective after the match but insisted she was happy with her performance.

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. Pliskova, seeded seven, was the highest-ranked player to reach the fourth round after an extraordinary first week of upsets but her hopes of further progress evaporated on a stiflingly hot Court Two.

In the third round of the women's doubles, Taiwan's Hsieh Su-wei and Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic fell to a 6-4, 6-3 defeat to Czech third seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova.

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