Venus reaches Wimbledon semifinals, sister Serena follows suit
A recap of the women’s quarterfinals matches at Wimbledon 2016 on Tuesday, including results, tweets, hot shots, photos and more.
• Five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams advanced to her first Grand Slam semifinal since the 2010 U.S. Open on Tuesday, beating Yaroslava Shvedova 7-6(5), 6-2. She joins Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King as the only players to reach a Grand Slam semifinal after turning 36 years old.
"The good part is I always felt like I had the game. This is always a plus, when you know you have the game. So you just have to keep working until things fall into place," Venus said after the match. "It's never a given. Everyone plays well....She could have easily won that match, as well. So just grateful."
In her 19th appearance at Wimbledon, Venus hadn't made the quarterfinals at the All England Club since 2010 and struggled for some time after announcing she was battling Sjögren’s syndrome in 2011. After Tuesday's match, Venus was asked about her journey since then.
"It's hard to say just one lesson. It's easy to be afraid. You have to let fear go," she said. "Another lesson is you just have to believe in yourself, you just have to. There's no way around it. You've got to believe in yourself. No matter how things are stacked against you, you just have to every time."
Venus will face No. 4-seed Angelique Kerber, who won a tight match against No. 5-seed Simona Halep to advance to the semifinals at Wimbledon for the first time since 2012.
"I'm feeling really good. I'm playing really good tennis right now. Yeah, I think I'm playing like in Australia, like really high‑class tennis," Kerber said after the match. "Also today, I mean, Simona was playing really well, as well. She's moving so good. I was trying to being aggressive and playing really my game, focusing just on my style of tennis."
Serving for the match at 5-3 in the second set, Kerber was broken and was forced to win the match in a tiebreaker, 7-4, 7-6(2). The match also featured 13 breaks of serve; Halep said she didn’t play as well on her serve as on her return.
“Confidence maybe a little bit. I didn't trust too much in my serve. I didn't hit it as I did days before. I was thinking too much with my serve to make the points and maybe that's why the pressure came,” Halep said after the match. “She was strong. She played a good tennis. In the big moments I didn't keep my tactic as well as I did before.”
Kerber leads the head-to-head against Venus 3-2 but the pair hasn't played since 2014 and have only met once on grass, at the London 2012 Olympics.
"I played against her a lot of tough matches, as well. I mean, she's always dangerous on grass, especially here in Wimbledon. She has a lot of confidence right now. She played great matches," Kerber said of her next opponent. "I'm looking forward to play against her. It's the next challenge here."
• No. 1 Serena Williams moved closer to her seventh Wimbledon title, and first major title of the 2016 season, on Tuesday, defeating Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 6-4 on Centre Court. The win put Serena in her 10th Wimbledon semifinal and eight-straight Grand Slam semifinal.
"I think it's great," Serena said of her streak. "You know, like I said, it just shows another mental toughness of mine, just being able to come through and consistently get to this stage of the tournament. I think it's something that is really noteworthy."
In the semifinals, unseeded World No. 50 Elena Vesnina awaits, after the the Russian downed No. 19-seed Dominika Cibulkova 6-2, 6-2 on Tuesday to reach her first Grand Slam semifinal.
"I am very surprised. It was like a dream came true," Vesnina said after the match. "I'm always thinking, like, I can do well in the Grand Slams. I had some good wins. I was close to be in the quarterfinal couple times, but it was not good enough. I was just waiting and waiting for this happen."
Serena and Venus are both in the semifinals of a Grand Slam for the first time since Wimbledon 2009 and they each are one match win away from meeting in a Grand Slam final for the first time since 2009. The Williams sisters also advanced in the doubles tournament, beating sixth-seeded Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka 6-4, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals.
• After their fourth-round match was suspended overnight because of darkness on Monday, Tomas Berdych and Jiri Vesely took the court to play the fifth set. Berdych advanced to the quarterfinals, taking the fifth set to close out the 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(8), 6-7(9), 6-3 over fellow countryman Vesely.
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Serena Williams is returning serve at a high level through four rounds at Wimbledon 2016.
This post will be updated.