Williams one match from history as US superstar powers through to Wimbledon final

By Sports Desk July 11, 2019

Serena Williams powered through to an 11th Wimbledon final and to the brink of history as she swept aside Barbora Strycova on Centre Court.

The American, at the age of 37, handed a thumping 6-1 6-2 lesson to Czech Strycova, whose first singles semi-final at a grand slam proved distinctly one-sided.

Victory for Williams sets up a shot at a record-equalling 24th grand slam title, with Romanian Simona Halep the player standing in her way of matching Australian Margaret Court's all-time tally in Saturday's final.

Williams, hunting an eighth Wimbledon crown, said: "It definitely feels good to be back in the final."

Strycova was making her own history, at 33 becoming the oldest first-time women's singles semi-finalist in an open era grand slam.

But her pre-match mention of having nothing to fear invited the suspicion that she thought it was a different Serena Williams on the other side of the net; not the women who had beaten her in three previous grand slam matches without dropping a set.

And rather than having nothing to lose, as Strycova ventured, this was unquestionably the greatest opportunity of her career.

Privately, she would surely have acknowledged that, and perhaps feared her crafty game would be picked apart.

Talking about combating Williams, and turning an all-to-gain mentality into points on the board, has always been different to the harsh reality.

And after finding her feel for the contest, Williams broke in the fourth game, creaming a crosscourt forehand past Strycova at the net.

Williams then held serve to love in a flash, helped by a pair of aces, broke again after setting up the chance with a fizzing backhand down the line, and took the opening set with a perfect drop volley followed by an ace out wide.

Breaks in the fifth and seventh games of the second set confirmed the gulf between this unlikely semi-final pairing, with Williams sealing victory when Strycova could only poke a serve back over the net and watch it returned with interest into an empty court.

Williams won her 23rd grand slam title in Australia two and a half years ago, since when she has married and become a mother.

The wait for the 24th slam has included defeats in the Wimbledon and US Open finals last year, and now Halep awaits her in another All England Club final.

It has a similar feel to last year's title match, when German left-hander Angelique Kerber was written off by many yet beat Williams with some comfort.

Halep brushed aside Elina Svitolina 6-1 6-3 earlier in the day, and Williams said: "She's tough. She played unbelievable today. We've played on grass before and we've always had good matches. I look forward to it."


STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN

Serena Williams [11] bt Barbora Strycova 6-1 6-2

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Williams – 27/10
Strycova – 8/10

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Williams – 4/1
Strycova – 1/1

BREAK POINTS WON

Williams – 4/5
Strycova – 0/3

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE

Williams - 60
Strycova - 61

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE

Williams – 88/53
Strycova – 52/44

TOTAL POINTS

Williams - 53
Strycova - 31

Related items

  • Nadal eases into Acapulco semis, Dimitrov snaps losing streak against Wawrinka Nadal eases into Acapulco semis, Dimitrov snaps losing streak against Wawrinka

    Rafael Nadal cruised into the Mexican Open semi-finals after the top seed outclassed Kwon Soon-woo in straight sets.

    Nadal was in devastating form as the 19-time grand slam champion dismantled Kwon 6-2 6-1 at the ATP 500 tournament in Acapulco on Thursday.

    After crushing Miomir Kecmanovic in the last 16, Nadal continued his ruthless path through the draw at the expense of the rising South Korean in one hour, 31 minutes.

    Nadal – eyeing his third Acapulco title – hit 25 winners, 11 unforced errors and saved all eight break points he faced to set up a semi-final showdown with Grigor Dimitrov.

    Bulgarian Dimitrov snapped a five-match losing streak against three-time major champion Stan Wawrinka by defeating the third seed 6-4 6-4.

    Dimitrov – the 2014 Mexican Open champion – had not beaten Wawrinka since 2016 but the former world number three ended his drought in one hour, 25 minutes.

    "I've played quite a few times against Stan and we've practised together so many times. Between us, it's mainly a mental battle," Dimitrov said. "I had lost the past five times against him, but those losses have inspired me. Those losses helped me. Even though it hurts saying it, I'm admitting it. I wanted to stand tall tonight."

    John Isner – the fifth seed – booked his spot in the semis for the second successive year with a 7-6 (7-3) 3-6 6-2 win over fellow American Tommy Paul.

    Isner fired down 22 aces to set up a clash against countryman Taylor Fritz, who topped Kyle Edmund 6-4 6-3.

    At the Chile Open, in-form top seed Cristian Garin extended his winning streak en route to the quarter-finals in Santiago.

    Garin – the Cordoba and Rio Open champion – celebrated his 10th consecutive victory by downing Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-2 0-6 7-6 (7-4) at the ATP 250 event.

    Fellow seeds Albert Ramos-Vinolas and Thiago Monteiro also progressed but fifth seed Juan Ignacio Londero was upstaged by wildcard Thiago Seyboth Wild 7-6 (9-7) 6-4.

  • Zarazua first Mexican to reach WTA semi-final since 1993, Fernandez advances Zarazua first Mexican to reach WTA semi-final since 1993, Fernandez advances

    Renata Zarazua became the first Mexican woman to reach a WTA Tour semi-final since 1993 after continuing her fairytale run at the Mexican Open.

    Local wildcard Zarazua upstaged Tamara Zidansek 6-2 3-6 6-2 en route to the final four of the WTA International tournament in Acapulco on Thursday.

    World number 270 Zarazua, 22, will face teenage qualifier Leylah Fernandez for a spot in the final.

    Canadian 17-year-old Fernandez moved through to her maiden WTA semi-final after ousting fellow teen Anastasia Potapova 6-3 7-5.

    Elsewhere, seventh seed Heather Watson prevailed 6-3 1-6 6-1 against American Christina McHale.

    Next up for Watson is Wang Xiyu, who eased past sixth seed Zhu Lin 6-2 6-2.

  • Zarazua first Mexican to reach WTA semi-final since 1993, Fernandez advances Zarazua first Mexican to reach WTA semi-final since 1993, Fernandez advances

    Renata Zarazua became the first Mexican woman to reach a WTA Tour semi-final since 1993 after continuing her fairytale run at the Mexican Open.

    Local wildcard Zarazua upstaged Tamara Zidansek 6-2 3-6 6-2 en route to the final four of the WTA International tournament in Acapulco on Thursday.

    World number 270 Zarazua, 22, will face teenage qualifier Leylah Fernandez for a spot in the final.

    Canadian 17-year-old Fernandez moved through to her maiden WTA semi-final after ousting fellow teen Anastasia Potapova 6-3 7-5.

    Elsewhere, seventh seed Heather Watson prevailed 6-3 1-6 6-1 against American Christina McHale.

    Next up for Watson is Wang Xiyu, who eased past sixth seed Zhu Lin 6-2 6-2.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.