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Williams has Court's record in sight as she powers into Wimbledon semi-final

The American is now just two wins away from a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title.

Williams celebrates another win on Centre Court.
Williams celebrates another win on Centre Court.
Image: Victoria Jones

SEVEN-TIME CHAMPION Serena Williams has reached her 12th Wimbledon semi-final on Tuesday, fighting hard to defeat unseeded American compatriot Alison Riske in three sets. 

The 37-year-old Williams, who is two wins away from equalling Margaret Court’s Grand Slam singles title record haul of 24, looked far from convincing as Riske pushed her the whole way over an engrossing two-hour duel.

However, Williams served it out with an ace to seal her 97th win at Wimbledon, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.

She will play Barbora Strycova for a place in the final, after the unseeded Czech veteran ended Johanna Konta’s hopes with an impressive 7-6 (7/5) 6-1 victory.

The 33-year-old had been mulling over retiring but may have a rethink after she came back from 4-1 down in the first set to dominate the match.

Strycova, the only unseeded player in the last four, has achieved her best Grand Slam performance with her previous best reaching the last eight, also at Wimbledon in 2014.

Konta’s hopes of a second successive Grand Slam semi-final appearance were largely dashed due to a massive 34 unforced errors.

Earlier, Simona Halep advanced through to the last four with a 7-6 (7/4), 6-1 victory over China’s Zhang Shuai.

Halep, the seventh-seeded former world number one, will face Elina Svitolina, the eighth seed from Ukraine, after she advanced past Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic.

Wimbledon 2019 - Day Eight - The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club Halep in action on Tuesday. Source: Adam Davy

Zhang, bidding to become just the second Chinese woman to reach the semi-finals, led 4-1 in the first set and held four break points for a 5-1 lead.

“I fought hard in the first set, even if I was down 4-1,” said 27-year-old Halep, a former French Open champion.

“I knew I had to be strong, play aggressive as much as possible and I did it great.

“I have energy, I feel fresh, I feel healthy, I feel confident when I step on the court.”

Romania’s Halep last made the last-four in 2014 when she was beaten by Eugenie Bouchard. 

© AFP 2019

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