Serena Williams battles into Wimbledon semi final with Riske win
Serena Williams was forced to work hard as she defeated compatriot Alison Riske 6-4 4-6 6-3 in a closely fought three set thriller.
The eight time Wimbledon champion Williams had her serve broke early on in the contest, after sending a backhand into the net. But the American battled back with aggressive returning and was soon back on serve at 3-3.
In a topsy-turvy end to the first set, Riske broke the 23 time Slam champion again to take a 4-3 lead. But two consecutive breaks of serve and saw the former world number one take the first set 6-4.
Williams is bidding to become just the fourth woman to win a Grand Slam champion after becoming a mum. She would have joined Margaret Court, Evonne Goolagong and Kim Clijsters if she had won in last year’s final against Kerber, but will hope this year she can do this. She was forced to work hard to hold serve in the second set however, being taken to deuce on three of her opening four service game. And in the next Riske hit a stunning drop shot pickup when approaching the net to break the Michigan women’s serve. The clearly unfazed 29 year old American served the set out at 6-4 to take the match into a decider.
In her first ever Grand Slam quarter final, Riske started the third set explosively as she hit a forehand volley winner to break the Williams’ serve instantly. However Serena Williams never refused to be put down, and quickly though her way back to a 3-1 lead with consecutive breaks of serve.
Attempting to reach her first ever Grand Slam semi final a resilient Riske pulled the break of serve back and held serve to 3-3. From here Williams was forced to play some of her best tennis, and after having three break points saved her opponent double faulted to allow Williams to regain the break and a 5-3 lead. Two aces in the final game helped Williams continue her bid to level Margaret Court on 24 Grand Slams.
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