Seven-time champion Serena Williams is just two wins away from equalling Margaret Court’s Grand Slam titles record of 24 after battling past Alison Riske in the Wimbledon quarterfinals Tuesday.
The 37-year-old, who recorded her 97th success at Wimbledon to move second on the women’s all-time list, came under enormous pressure from her fellow American before prevailing in an engrossing contest, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 in just over two hours.
Standing in Williams’s way in what is her 12th Wimbledon semifinal will be unseeded Czech veteran Barbora Strycova.
The American says she will not be taking the 33-year-old lightly as she has ousted four seeds on her run to the last four.
“She’s good on the grass,” said Williams of Strycova.
“She knows what to do. She has a good all-around game.
“She’s incredibly tricky. It’s definitely not easy. But it’s something I’m definitely geared up for.”
Also joining Williams in the last four was Romania’s former world No 1 Simona Halep, who fought back from 4-1 down in the first set to beat China’s Zhang Shuai 7-6 (7/4), 6-1.
For Halep – who aside from Williams was the only player in the quarterfinals to have won a Grand Slam, taking the French Open last year – it is her second Wimbledon semifinal.
Halep will play Elina Svitolina, the Ukraine eighth seed, after she came back from a break down in each set to beat Karolina Muchova 7-5, 6-4.