Serena wins, through to semi-finals

Serena wins, through to semi-finals

Serena wins, through to semi-finals

Seven-time champion Williams has won all three of her meetings with first-time Grand Slam quarterfinalist Camila Giorgi, with the most recent coming in the first round of the 2016 Australian Open.

Angelique Kerber, seeded 11 and now the highest-ranked player left in the tournament, beat Belinda Bencic of Switzerland 6-3 7-6 (7/5) and will meet Daria Kasatkina, who ended Alison Van Uytvanck's run with a 6-7 (6/8) 6-3 6-2 win.

Jelena Ostapenko showed all her "fighting" qualities to defeat Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova 7-5, 6-4 and become the first Latvian to reach the Wimbledon singles semi-finals. "But I'm not sure if I'm a great coach", she said.

Williams was seeded 25th by the All England Club, a nod to all of her past success at the grass-court major, including titles the last two times she entered it, in 2015 and 2016.

Giorgi hung in gamely to at least make Williams serve to reach her 35th Grand Slam semi-final and 11th at Wimbledon.

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Williams has often blasted her rivals off Centre Court with ferocious power-hitting, but German 13th seed Goerges was sent packing with a more subtle 70-minute display featuring just 16 winners and five aces.

Having cruised through her first four matches here, the question was asked of Serena Williams if she would rather have had a tough test to see exactly where her game is at.

Williams hit six of her seven aces in the final set, including one clocked at 122 miles per hour, and won 44 of the last 54 points she served. The 36-year-old rallied to win 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. She won her first WTA title in 2010 and followed that up by winning the prestigious Stuttgart tournament the next year.

Julia Goerges of Germany celebrates breaking the serve of Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands during their women's quarterfinal match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Tuesday July 10, 2018. I'm only in the quarter-finals.

Williams kept her opponent at bay, sending Giorgi scampering back and forth across the baseline with a range of shots proving she's back to very near her best. She summarily flew a forehand long after good defensive work by the 20th seed, who took a 2-1 lead. Camila served brilliantly to reduce the tally but the Serena's unrelenting attack sustained the gap to 5-3.

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"It's pretty unreal for me", said Goerges, who reached her first major semifinal at a tournament where she exited in the first round each of the past five years.

Shocks decimated the women's draw early on but there is no real surprise that three of the players in Thursday's semi-finals are Grand Slam champions.

Shrieking and clenching her fists after every key point that went her way, Serena let out a gutteral "C'mon" once she wrapped up the set.

Considering what she went through during a traumatic labour nine months ago, since when she has played only a handful of matches, Williams's physical condition has been impressive.

Yet Goerges insists she can cause an massive upset against Williams.

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With Kerber still here too, it marks the first time in the Open era - since tennis went professional in 1968 - that there have been two Germans in the women's semi-finals. She won 44 of the last 54 points she served.

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