July 21, 2019
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Serena Williams qualifies for her 12th Wimbledon semifinal

London, Jul 9 (efe-epa).- Serena Williams of the United States on Tuesday overcame a slip and an ankle issue to defeat her fellow American Alison Riske 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, securing her 12th semifinal appearance at Wimbledon.

In the hunt for her ninth Wimbledon title, Williams earned her 97th win at the All England Tennis Club, and is now a step away from equaling her 2018 run in the tournament, where she qualified for the final, but lost to Angelique Kerber of Germany.

Across the two-hour match, Williams fired 19 aces, the last of which sealed the win against Riske.

Williams is set to take Centre Court a few hours later to play in the mixed doubles second round alongside Briton Andy Murray against the duo of Frenchman Fabrice Martin and Raquel Atawo of the United States.

Having knocked out world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty of Australia in the previous round, Riske took an early 3-1 lead, only to lose the following couple of games.

Then, Riske took the lead once more in the seventh game making the score 4-3, but the former world No. 1 won three games back to back to seal the first set on Riske's serve.

During the second set, both players served out till the ninth game, when Riske seized on the lone break point that was created to draw level at one set apiece.

They traded serve breaks in the early going of the third set and once more half way through it, but Williams dealt the final blow in the eighth game as she broke for the final time.

Williams is now just two wins away from equaling Margaret Court's record of 24 Grand Slam titles.

Since winning her 23rd major title in the 2017 Australian Open, when Williams was two months pregnant, Williams had five opportunities to equal the record.

After returning from a maternity leave, Williams fell short at the French Open round of 16, the finals of Wimbledon and US Open in 2018 and did not get past the Australian Open quarterfinals and the French Open third round in 2019.

Next up for Williams will be either Johanna Konta of the United Kingdom or Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic. EFE-EPA

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Strycova, Svitolina: Wimbledon semifinalists vs Serena, Halep

London, Jul 9 (efe-epa).- Barbora Strycova beat Johanna Konta in the Wimbledon quarterfinals on Tuesday.

The Czech player dashed her British opponent's hopes of winning the championship on her home turf with the 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 win.

The 33-year-old is now set to face off against Serena Williams who is hunting for a record-tying 24th Grand Slam crown.

Strycova is a dangerous opponent for the American player, as she has already defeated fourth-ranked Kiki Bertens and Elise Mertens in the third round and the round of 16, respectively, on her way to her first ever major semis.

Konta had a 4-1 lead going into the first set, but Strycova staged an outstanding comeback, drawing level at 4-4.

Both players held on serve to force a tie-breaker that the Czech won.

Strycova made the most of her momentum in the second set, claiming a 6-1 win as she broke the Briton twice.

The third Grand Slam of the season will have to do without a local successor to Virginia Wade who was the last British woman to win the Wimbledon title in 1977.

Strycova is to clash against 23-time Grand Slam winner Williams for the fourth time in their pro careers.

The 37-year-old American has won the three previous matches against Strycova in the 2012 Australian Open round of 64, in the 2012 Wimbledon first round and in the 2017 Australian Open round of 16.

On the other side of the bracket, Elina Svitolina continued her excellent run, defeating Karolina Muchova 7-5, 6-4 to secure her first ever Grand Slam semifinal appearance.

Svitolina's best achievement at the four Grand Slam events was reaching the quarterfinals at the Australian Open in 2018 and 2019 and the making it to the quarters at Roland Garros in 2017 and 2015.

Despite trailing on the scoreboard in the first set by 2-5, she emerged victorious, winning five back-to-back games and breaking her Czech rival twice.

In the early going into the second set, the Ukrainian player lost her service for the second game, but she broke back in the third, fifth and seventh games to gain a 5-2 advantage.

Svitolina lost her service for the match in the following game, but eventually managed to seal a 6-4 win, booking her first career semi berth at a Grand Slam, after an hour and 32 minutes of competition.

The 24-year-old has had her best outing ever at the third major tournament of the season, having won just ten matches on grass court across her entire career.

The Ukrainian's best result had been to reach the round of 16 in 2017 at the All England Club.

Next up, Svitolina is set to have a highly competitive clash against seventh-seeded Simona Halep of Romania, who eliminated China's Shuai Zhang to reach her second major semis.

The Ukrainian has an overall 4-3 head-to-head lead, however, the Wimbledon semifinals will be their first ever match on grass.

Halep said after her win: "I'm a different person. Everything changed. I have a lot of experience now. I'm more confident.

"I think it's a big challenge for me, next match.

"But I will take it like I took every match since I'm here. I'm relaxed. I'm happy. I'm motivated to win." EFE-EPA

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Halep returns to Wimbledon semis after 5 years at Zhang's expense

London, Jul 9 (efe-epa).- Romania's Simona Halep on Tuesday beat China's Shuai Zhang 7-6 (7-4), 6-1 to secure her second Wimbledon semifinal appearance in five years.

After eliminating 15-year-old American Coco Gauff Halep prevailed over Zhang, committing only 13 unforced errors compared to her rival's 29.

"I have energy, I feel fresh, I feel healthy, I feel confident when I step on the court," Halep, 27, said following her victory over Zhang, ranked 50th.

Halep, the No. 7 seed, took an hour and 27 minutes to reach the semis at the Grand Slam and is now waiting for the winner of the match between eighth seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine and Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic.

The former World No. 1 said she knows both Svitolina and Muchova, and she has had enough time to prepare for the upcoming clash against whoever wins between them.

It will be Halep's seventh Grand Slam semifinal after the Australian Open in 2018, Roland Garros in 2014, 2017 and 2018, Wimbledon in 2014 and the US Open in 2015. EFE-EPA

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