Serena Williams praised Alison Riske for forcing her to "put the business bun up" in a classic Wimbledon quarter-final battle.

Williams was pushed all the way by her fellow American in a gripping Centre Court tussle before sealing a 6-4 4-6 6-3 victory on Tuesday.

The 23-time grand slam singles champion felt it was time to tie her hair back with Riske in full flow at the All England Club.

"Well, today it [her hair] was just in my way, and the wind. I was missing a shot because it's in my face," said the former world number one, back in action with Andy Murray in the mixed doubles later in the day.

"I was like, 'This is not happening'. I just needed to get it out of the way, put the business bun up and just get to business."

Williams was full of praise for Riske after ending her compatriot's best run at a major.

"I just needed to just fight. Alison, she played great throughout the whole tournament. She's beaten so many amazing players, players that have had great years," the seven-time Wimbledon singles champion said.

"She was not giving it to me. I needed to step up and take it. That's what I had to do."

Williams allayed concerns over a slight tweak of her right ankle and feels in great shape as she prepares to take on Barbora Strycova in the last four.

"This is the first time since Australia that I actually felt good. It's been a really, really long year for me already, and [a] hard year, because I'm usually not typically injured," she added.

"I don't know where I am. I do know I feel good. Now that I feel good, I can actually focus on training and technique and practice, something that I just literally haven't been able to do a lot of."

Serena Williams fended off inspired fellow American Alison Riske in a fierce battle to reach a 12th Wimbledon semi-final on Tuesday.

The unseeded Riske declared she was "ready for war" in her first grand slam quarter-final and kept to her word on Centre Court before finally going down 6-4 4-6 6-3.

Eleventh seed Williams passed a huge test to move a step closer to matching Margaret Court's tally of 24 grand slam singles titles, setting up a showdown with Barbora Strycova or Johanna Konta.

Riske had lost one won of 14 grass-court matches this year and pushed her esteemed compatriot all the way before an 18th Williams ace ended a thrilling contest.

Last-year's runner-up struck 48 winners in an absorbing match against the attacking Riske and will put her fitness levels to the test by returning for doubles action with Andy Murray later in the day.

Fired-up Pittsburgh native Riske beat world number one Ashleigh Barty to reach the last eight and was clearly not overawed as she took a 3-1 lead, but Williams was level at 3-3.

Riske took that setback on the chin, breaking with a searing backhand return but again failing to consolidate and the seven-time champion found another gear to win three games in a row and claim the opening set.

A cushioned Williams backhand volley had Riske scurrying in vain during the first game of the second set, the veteran also firing down two booming aces to hold.

Riske continued to come forward at every opportunity and broke to lead 5-4 with a majestic half-volley, then served out the set to love with no hint of nerves.

The underdog conjured up another winner to start the decider with a break after Williams had her ankle taped, but the former world number one hit straight back - a rasping forehand return making it 1-1.

Williams applied the pressure and a fourth double fault from Riske left her 3-1 down, but back came the world number 55 to get back on serve following a couple of huge returns.

Yet she was shaking her head after Williams showed great anticipation to get her nose in front at 5-3, before serving out the match to end Riske's best major run.

Simona Halep came through a gripping first-set examination to see off China's Zhang Shuai 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 and book a place in the semi-finals of Wimbledon for the first time since 2014.

Halep, the highest-ranked player left in the draw, is chasing a second career grand slam but had to weather a considerable storm against outsider Zhang.

A break down, the world number seven escaped a marathon sixth game to halt Zhang's momentum before stealing the opener on a tie-break.

After those absorbing first 58 minutes, the second set was a more serene affair and Halep will face either Elina Svitolina or Karolina Muchova as she bids to reach a maiden final at the All England Club.

Zhang had never won a main draw match at Wimbledon until this year but, having already seen off seeds Caroline Garcia and Caroline Wozniacki, raced into a 3-0 lead in just over 10 minutes on Number One Court.

A pinpoint backhand into the back-right corner was the jewel in the 30-year-old's early break as her powerful, flat groundstrokes exuded composure and authority.

Halep's forehand was misfiring, and she had to negotiate a considerable crisis at 1-4, scrambling to save four break points and eventually hold.

The high-class and gruelling rallies required to do so appeared to play the 2018 French Open champion into form and Zhang coughed up a break in the next game with a double fault.

The set remained on serve from that point and Halep managed to keep her opponent's relentless attacks at arm's length to take the breaker 7-4.

If the Romanian star had a sense the storm had passed, it was confirmed when Zhang sent a tame forehand into the net to be broken for 3-1.

Halep consolidated with a hold to love and the world number 50 was predictably unable to relocate her sparkling earlier form.

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Simona Halep [7] bt. Zhang Shuai 7-6 (7-4) 6-1

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Halep - 17/13
Zhang - 22/29

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Halep - 1/1
Zhang - 1/2

BREAK POINTS WON
Halep - 3/6
Zhang - 1/5

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Halep - 76
Zhang - 71

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Halep - 72/44
Zhang - 67/41

TOTAL POINTS
Halep - 74
Zhang - 61

Garbine Muguruza has split with coach Sam Sumyk, the two-time grand slam champion has confirmed.

Muguruza and Sumyk have worked together for the past four years, taking in her breakout triumph at the 2016 French Open where she beat Serena Williams in the final in straight sets.

The 25-year-old won Wimbledon in 2017 - Venus Williams her victim on that occasion - and reached world number one, although her SW19 success came predominantly under the guidance of Conchita Martinez as Sumyk attended the birth of his daughter.

The pair were involved in a pair of high-profile courtside rows at the WTA Elite Trophy last year and Muguruza's fortunes have been on the wane – culminating in a first-round exit at the All England club last week versus Brazil's Beatriz Haddad Maia.

"Few words to announce the end of an extraordinary ride," Muguruza tweeted.

"2 Grand Slams and World No 1. Beyond grateful for this last 4 years. Merci Sam."

 

Few words to announce the end of an Extraordinary ride. 2 Grand Slams and World N 1. Beyond grateful for this last 4 years. Merci Sam

— Garbiñe Muguruza (@GarbiMuguruza) July 9, 2019

Muguruza won this year's Monterrey Open when former Sumyk pupil Victoria Azarenka withdrew during the second set of the final but her world ranking has tumbled to 27.

Cori Gauff likened the support she received at Wimbledon to a home crowd after her journey at the All England Club came to an end.

The 15-year-old American shocked five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams in round one but went out to former world number one Simona Halep in the last 16 on Monday.

Halep came out on top 6-3 6-3 on No.1 Court, though Gauff still produced some quality shots despite struggling with a stomach problem.

Gauff's rise to prominence has undoubtedly been the story of this year's tournament so far and the future appears bright for the teenager, who was a firm fan favourite at Wimbledon.

"It was really surprising because you don't really expect this kind of support when you're in another country, not your home country," Gauff told a news conference.

"I really did feel like I was probably playing in New York somewhere. I'm just really happy and happy that people believe in me.

"They've been amazing, like even this match. Even though I wasn't feeling my best, I wasn't playing my best, but they were still supporting me no matter what. 

"I learned a lot. I learned how to play in front of a big crowd. I learned what it was like to be under pressure. I learned a lot and I'm really thankful for this experience."

Gauff may have become an international tennis sensation, but she still has to finish her high school studies for the academic year.

"I literally have two weeks left. I probably could have been done if I didn't play this, but I'm so close," she added.

"My teachers definitely let me take a break a little so I could focus on my matches.

"I'm just going to go get back to work. I'm going to rest obviously for a couple days. I don't know where we're going to go.

"Definitely going to take like a mini weekend family vacation. I don't know where we'll go. I'm excited to just kind of chill for a little bit."

Rafael Nadal refuted the suggestion Ashleigh Barty should have featured on Centre Court at Wimbledon at his expense.

Women's world number one Barty played on No.2 Court on Monday, but the French Open champion and top seed crashed out with a shock 3-6 6-2 6-3 defeat to Alison Riske, who will face Serena Williams in the quarter-finals.

Nadal, meanwhile, cruised to a convincing 6-2 6-2 6-2 triumph over Joao Sousa in the main arena.

But the second-ranked men's player did not agree with a reporter's suggestion Barty deserved to play on Centre Court, the third seed stating his status in the sport is higher than the Australian's.

"I am the world number two and I have won 18 grand slams," Nadal told a news conference.

"My answer is not no or yes. My answer is [the schedulers] make a decision. You are putting Ashleigh Barty in front of me.

"In the world of tennis today, honestly, my feeling is I am a little bit more than Ashleigh Barty, even if she is the top player in the world, won the French Open and is playing unbelievably well.

"A day like today, everybody is playing. Of course, [Novak] Djokovic is not on Centre Court. The first day, I was playing on No.1 Court."

Nadal will face Sam Querrey in the last eight after the American beat his compatriot Tennys Sandgren in their fourth-round tie.

World number one Ashleigh Barty and Karolina Pliskova crashed out as the women's quarter-final draw opened up at Wimbledon.

Barty went down 3-6 6-2 6-3 in a compelling contest against Alison Riske on No. 2 Court, while Czech Republic's third seed Pliskova went down to compatriot Karolina Muchova 4-6 7-5 13-11 in an epic encounter.

Riske will face Serena Williams – a 6-2 6-2 winner over Carla Suarez Navarro - in an all-American quarter but 15-year-old sensation Cori Gauff had her superb run at SW19 ended by Simona Halep in straight sets.

Halep is now the highest seed left in the draw after Britain's Johanna Konta kept home interest alive with a thrilling 4-6 6-2 6-4 win over world number six Petra Kvitova.
 

BARTY'S HOT STREAK COMES TO AN END

French Open champion Barty had not lost for two months heading into her fourth-round match but had no complaints as Riske turned in a stirring display.

"Overall I didn't play a poor match. When I needed to, when the big moments were there, Alison played better," she said. "Tough one to swallow but I lost to a better player."

Riske is relishing her reward of a showdown with Williams, who she has partnered in Fed Cup doubles.

"I think it's super exciting. I played doubles with Serena, but never played against her. It will be an interesting match," she said.

"I'm ready for a war. She's the greatest athlete I think that's ever been on the women's side. It's going to be a huge challenge."

GAUFF EXIT TOUGH TO STOMACH

Already a favourite at the All England Club, Gauff was unable to overturn the odds once more against the former world number one Halep.

The youngster seemed to be hindered by illness and called for the doctor in the second set.

"I wasn't feeling 100 per cent. I still tried my best. Simona played really well," she said after losing 6-3 6-3.

"I learned a lot. I learned how to play in front of a big crowd. I learned what it was like to be under pressure. I'm really thankful for this experience."
 

KONTA KEEPS HOME FIRES BURNING

Konta will meet veteran Barbora Strycova – a winner in three against Belgium's Elise Mertens - after bringing Centre Court to its feet at the end of a gruelling battle.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova did not go down without a fight, saving two match points and breaking Konta to recover from 5-1 down to make it 5-4 in the decider, but the elated 19th seed finished the job.

"Petra started playing incredibly freely and hitting through the ball. The balls were coming at 100 miles-an-hour to me," Konta, who assuaged fears over the ankle treatment she received during the match, told BBC.

"I'm tremendously grateful to be here. The way I'm competing, I'm really happy with that."

SVITOLINA LANDING BLOWS ON OTHER SIDE OF THE DRAW

China's world number 50 Shuai Zhang is up next for Halep after beating teenager Dayana Yastremska 6-4 1-6 6-2 to reach a first quarter-final since the 2016 Australian Open.

Yastremska's fellow Ukrainian Elina Svitolina, the number eight seed, brushed aside Petra Martic in straight sets to set up a meeting with surprise package Muchova.

A keen boxing fan, Svitolina will be optimistic of sealing semi-final berth and potentially landing a knockout blow on one of the favourites.

"I love watching it. In Ukraine there is great fighters," she said, while pursuing a triumph that could place her alongside the Klitschko brothers and Vasyl Lomachenko in her nation's affections.

"I'm a big fan of [Anthony Joshua]. Unfortunately, [his] last fight wasn't great."

Cori Gauff's extraordinary Wimbledon adventure came to an end as Simona Halep produced a fine performance in a convincing 6-3 6-3 victory.

After capturing the world of tennis' attention with a shock defeat of five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams in round one, Gauff comfortably saw off Magdalena Rybarikova before claiming a spot in the last 16 with a wonderful comeback win over Polona Hercog.

But the 15-year-old could not match former world number one Halep on No.1 Court on Monday, as the 2018 French Open champion eased into the quarter-finals.

Gauff looked set to test Halep when she broke back in the second game, but the Romanian moved in front again in game five before winning against serve to seal the first set.

Halep had victory in her sights when 5-2 up in the second set, only for Gauff - who had to be treated for an apparent abdominal problem during the match - to claw back two match points and hold.

But Gauff's resistance proved futile as Halep converted her next match point - the teenager's tournament coming to a close when she overhit a forehand.

Halep, who made the quarter-finals at Roland Garros this year, will face Zhang Shuai next up.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Simona Halep [7] bt Cori Gauff 6-3 6-3

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Halep - 17/14
Gauff - 15/29

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Halep - 2/5
Gauff - 0/1

BREAK POINTS WON
Halep - 5/12
Gauff - 2/6

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Halep - 57
Gauff - 66

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Halep - 76/44
Gauff - 53/38

TOTAL POINTS
Halep - 68
Gauff - 51

Serena Williams breezed into the quarter-finals of Wimbledon with a 6-2 6-2 victory over Carla Suarez Navarro.

Previous form offered little indication that Williams' pursuit of a record-equalling 24th grand slam singles title would be knocked off course by Suarez Navarro, who had failed to win a set in their six previous meetings.

This proved a similarly forlorn assignment for the 30th seed, despite some good moments in the middle of each set as errors flowed from her esteemed opponent's racquet more frequently than might have been expected.

Williams will face Alison Riske in the quarter-finals after her compatriot downed world number one Ashleigh Barty via a gruelling 96-minute encounter on Number Two Court.

Over on Centre, early breaks at the start of each set were key - Suarez Navarro unhelpfully setting the tone for herself with a double fault on the opening point.

Williams converted her second break point but her Spanish opponent avoided any further damage until the seventh game.

A crunching backhand gave Williams the opening after a third deuce and Suarez Navarro sent her own shot from that wing into the net.

The contest threatened to race away from the 30-year-old as she coughed up two more service games to be down 0-3 in the second.

Things had arguably become too easy for Williams, who was jolted by being broken to love in the next game and needed an assured passing shot to end a run of six consecutive points lost.

Serena reacted exuberantly to a driven forehand winner that saw off another service wobble to set up a hold at 4-2 and a glorious cross-court backhand to break for a fifth time in the contest meant Suarez Navarro's race was run.

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Serena Williams [11] bt Carla Suarez Navarro [30] 6-2 6-2

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Williams – 21/19
Suarez Navarro – 9/13

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Williams – 2/1
Suarez Navarro – 1/2

BREAK POINTS WON
Williams – 5/11
Suarez Navarro – 1/3

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Williams - 61
Suarez Navarro - 61

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Williams – 78/47
Suarez Navarro – 56/35

TOTAL POINTS
Williams - 60
Suarez Navarro - 43

World number one Ashleigh Barty was beaten for the first time in two months on Monday as Alison Riske claimed a superb fourth-round victory at Wimbledon.

The American, who had only reached this stage of a grand slam once before in her career, recovered to win 3-6 6-2 6-3 in 97 gruelling minutes on No.2 Court.

Having already beaten seeds Belinda Bencic and Donna Vekic at these championships, Riske will face either Serena Williams or Carla Suarez Navarro in her first major quarter-final.

Barty, who had not even dropped a set since the semi-finals of the French Open last month before this meeting, began with four consecutive aces as she battled to a 4-1 lead, before closing out the opening set as Riske missed a backhand return at the end of another love service game.

The Australian's backhand slice had been causing Riske some problems but she was off balance when her opponent responded with a string of emphatic ground strokes to move 4-1 ahead in the second set.

Riske then levelled the match with a simple passing shot after Barty, who won only two points at the net in set two, failed to do enough with a forehand volley.

A hard-fought third set swung Riske's way when she broke for a 5-3 lead with a fine forehand down the line, and last month's Libema Open champion claimed victory on her first match point as Barty sent a forehand into the tramlines.

"I've just been ready to battle every day I go out there and that's really shown in all my matches. I couldn't be more proud of myself," said Riske.

"I couldn't begin to say what it means to me. To overcome the matches the way that I have ultimately is what I'm most excited about. Being in the last eight at Wimbledon isn't too bad!"

Andy Murray was in awe of doubles partner Serena Williams at Wimbledon on Saturday and believes she and Roger Federer do not get the credit their longevity deserves.

Williams was in inspired form as a mixed doubles bow with Murray ended in a dominant 6-4 6-1 victory over Andreas Mies and Alexa Guarachi on Centre Court.

But having seen Williams at close quarters, Murray suggested her competitive drive is underestimated after a lengthy career at the top.

The 37-year-old has won 23 grand slam singles titles, while Federer - also referenced by the Briton - is the same age and just three major triumphs behind.

"It's impressive, after the amount of success that someone like Serena has had for such a long period, to still be out there," Murray explained.

"Whatever, eight o'clock at night, having already won a singles, just wanting to win and being competitive.

"That's impressive. I don't think people always appreciate how difficult that is to do I think because of what Serena and Roger have done for such a long period.

"It's kind of taken for granted a little bit. But it's impressive.

"I don't mean that Roger and Serena themselves are taken for granted. I'm just saying it's more like the longevity, the competitiveness to keep going at that level.

"I think that's what people maybe sometimes don't always talk about. Maybe sometimes it looks like it comes easy to them, and it isn't. I know that.

"It's hard work to stay at the top of a sport for a long time physically, mentally. Yeah, for me, that's what's really impressive as a professional athlete, just to see what they've done.

"I think tennis is grateful for all that they've done, all the fans they've brought to the sport. But I don't think people always talk about that side of things."

Serena Williams sang the praises of Cori 'Coco' Gauff and Ashleigh Barty as she assessed the credentials of two players who could deny her a record-tying 24th grand slam title next weekend.

Seven-time Wimbledon champion Williams was an impressive 6-3 6-4 winner against Germany's Julia Goerges on No. 1 Court on Saturday, setting up a last-16 clash with Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain, who beat Lauren Davis.

The 37-year-old American superstar could face world number one Barty in the quarter-finals, while Gauff - who Williams says is "totally capable" of winning the title at the age of 15 - is on the opposite side of the draw.

Williams labelled Australian Barty a "beautiful player" with "great technique" and added: "She's just someone in the locker room that you just always root for.

"But in general I have been watching her game because I know that she's a force to be reckoned with. So I've been watching a lot."

Barty trounced British player Harriet Dart 6-1 6-1 on Centre Court and will face American Alison Riske next. Riske, ranked 55th, beat Swiss 13th seed Belinda Bencic in three sets.

Williams says Gauff is equipped to achieve more success at Wimbledon, with the world number 313 to play Simona Halep next.

"I think there's some 15-year-olds, like me, who wouldn't know what to do at Wimbledon," Williams said. "Then you have a 15-year-old like Coco who knows what to do. I think she's definitely on a different level, so I think she's totally capable and ready."

Fourth seed Kiki Bertens was the biggest casualty of the day, the Dutch player sliding to a 7-5 6-1 defeat at the hands of experienced Barbora Strycova.

Fellow Czech Petra Kvitova raced to a 6-3 6-2 win against Poland's Magda Linette, Britain's Johanna Konta ground out a 3-6 6-4 6-1 victory over US ninth seed Sloane Stephens, and Belgian Elise Mertens dug in for a 6-2 6-7 (9-11) 6-4 success against Wang Qiang of China.

FOREARM FOREWARNING

Kvitova looks to have made untroubled progress through to the second week, and the two-time Wimbledon champion is happy with her form.

But the 29-year-old has warned her campaign could end at any moment and it may have nothing to do with an opponent.

She began the tournament saying she had "no pain" in her left arm after several days of practice, but a tear forced her to pull out of the French Open and Kvitova is wary of the problem possibly returning.

"As I mentioned already many times before, the pain can come in the forearm and I have to retire," she said.

"Now my mind is more focusing on the arm than maybe on the tennis. It's a bit difficult in the practices before, my arm just getting tighter. I just felt it. I couldn't really hit it.

"I'm always worried about the scenarios that's come in the match. So far it's okay."

ENJOYING A PINCER THE ACTION

Did Barty intend to quote Sebastian, the crab from The Little Mermaid, in her press conference after beating Dart?

Asked about how she figures out how and when to play certain shots, Barty said: "I think for me sometimes I look at a shot, I play a shot, I think the seaweed is always greener in someone else's lake. I try and think of how else I can win the point."

The seaweed idiom is thought to have been coined for the 1989 animated Disney film, a subterranean take on the 'grass is always greener' notion.

COCO HAS A NEW SUPER-FAN - BUT SHE'S NOT A BFF YET

Gauff was only involved in doubles on Saturday, losing a mixed match with British partner Jay Clarke.

Yet she remains in demand and proved good value in her post-match news conference, thrilled to have picked up a new fan in the former United States First Lady Michelle Obama.

On Friday evening in the US, Obama tweeted: "Coco is terrific!"

"Yeah, I just saw the tweet," said 15-year-old Gauff, who will play in the singles fourth round on Monday. "We don't talk personally. I don't have her number or anything. I was super excited. She's one of my role models. So it was just cool to see that she knows I exist."

Wimbledon greats Andy Murray and Serena Williams breezed to victory in their mixed doubles debut.

Linking up for the first time at the All England Club, Murray and Williams were dominant as they defeated Andreas Mies and Alexa Guarachi 6-4 6-1 on Saturday.

Mies and Guarachi wore excited grins throughout, evidently thrilled to take on two of sport's biggest names on Centre Court, but they were no match for the clear crowd favourites.

Murray and Williams broke French Open men's doubles champion Mies in the very first game but were frustrated in efforts to increase their advantage.

The first set was wrapped up on serve with a Williams smash, though, and Mies was picked off again by the WTA Tour star with a little help from the net at the start of the second.

The duo only improved as the match wore on and Murray drew another break from Guarachi, before they swatted away three break points in Williams' next service game, ultimately easing to victory.

Murray had crashed out of the men's doubles earlier in the day, while Williams continued her run in the singles draw, but both players were enthused to begin a mixed partnership.

"I think it worked out well," Williams told BBC Sport. "We'd never played together, so it's always a learning curve.

"We wanted to start out fast. We take it very serious, which is why we're in it."

Murray assured he was feeling no ill effects to an increased schedule, saying: "My back was a little stiff after the doubles but it felt alright when we were out there.

"The hip's fine, just a few aches and pains elsewhere."

Another high-profile British-American pairing were less successful, with Jay Clarke and Cori Gauff beaten 6-1 6-4 by Robert Linstedt and Jelena Ostapenko.

Clarke had upset planned partner Harriet Dart when he snubbed her for 15-year-old sensation Gauff, but he was happy the issue had been dealt with.

"Everything is fine," he said. "I think the media obviously did a pretty good job of making it bigger than what it was. It happens like that."

Clarke earlier suggested the situation would be the same if Dart dumped him for Roger Federer and, speaking after their match, he insisted Gauff deserved to be compared to a Wimbledon great.

"You look at the people she's obviously being compared to and the past champions that have won this that have said it," he added. "It was a lot of praise, rightly so."

Serena Williams showed the level that could bring her a record-equalling 24th grand slam singles title next weekend as she charged through to Wimbledon's second week.

Any doubts about Williams being ready to carry off another major were largely dispelled as she powered to a 6-3 6-4 victory over Germany's Julia Goerges on No. 1 Court.

This was a repeat of last year's semi-final, when Williams also won in straight sets, and sets up a fourth-round match for the American against Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro on Monday.

Seven-time Wimbledon champion Williams will hope to remain in the trophy hunt come finals weekend, and the 37-year-old 11th seed looked in shape to last the distance in London as her serve fired and ground shots invariably found their mark.

All four past meetings had gone Williams' way, without costing her a set, and pressure was on Goerges early on as she grittily saved three break points in the second game of the match.

Serena broke in the sixth game, though, and clinched the set at the third time of asking by making a forehand winner.

Goerges played at a high level all through the match, albeit landing fewer first serves than she would have wanted.

The 30-year-old from Bad Oldesloe saved three break points with clean winners in game five of the second set, every shot becoming a pint of blood for the battling 18th seed.

When a fourth break point came along, Goerges floated a backhand wide and Williams had a lead she showed no sign of relinquishing, letting out a shriek of joy when Goerges netted a forehand on match point.

Williams, due to play mixed doubles with Andy Murray later on Saturday, landed 71 per cent of first serves and at that level she is usually unbeatable.

Knee problems that have plagued her season have yet to resurface in London, which bodes well for the challenges ahead.

"It's been an arduous year for me," Williams told the BBC. "Every match, I'm hoping to improve tons. Every time I go out there I try. I'm getting a really late start but all that matters is I'm still here."

She has been relishing the doubles union with fellow former Wimbledon champion Murray, saying she was so excited by the prospect it might give her "performance anxiety".

Williams added: "I wanted to play mixed because I've played just about 15 matches so far this year so I thought it could really help me."

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Serena Williams [11] bt Julia Goerges [18] 6-3 6-4

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Williams – 19/15
Goerges – 17/13

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Williams – 7/0
Goerges – 5/2

BREAK POINTS WON
Williams – 2/8
Goerges – 0/0

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Williams - 71
Goerges - 51

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Williams – 76/71
Goerges – 83/43

TOTAL POINTS
Williams - 64
Goerges - 51

Ashleigh Barty made light work of Harriet Dart as she cruised through to the fourth round at Wimbledon with a comprehensive 6-1 6-1 victory on Centre Court.

The world number one hardly broke sweat against the 22-year-old wildcard, who shocked Beatriz Haddad Maia in round two, easing into the last 16 in 53 minutes.

Barty claimed a 15th successive victory and will meet Alison Riske in round four, after the American knocked out 13th-seed Belinda Bencic.

The Australian wasted little time in the first set, and she was 5-0 up within 20 minutes, having already displayed an impressive array of shots, with a backhand down the line to secure the fifth game a particular standout.

Dart managed to hold her serve to avoid a whitewash, though Barty swiftly regained control in the next game to seal the set.

The French Open champion broke Dart twice as she kept up the pace in the second set and took the first four games.

After holding serve, the Briton looked poised to get one of those back, but failed to take any of four break points in the sixth game, with Barty converting her first match point in the next.

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Ashleigh Barty [1] bt Harriet Dart 6-1 6-1

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Barty - 23/6
Dart - 5/18

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Barty - 11/2
Dart - 0/5

BREAK POINTS WON
Barty - 5/5
Dart - 0/4

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Barty - 64
Dart - 57

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Barty - 92/50
Dart - 48/32

TOTAL POINTS
Barty - 56
Dart - 27

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