WTA Wimbledon: Serena Williams battles past Alison Riske to enter last four

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WTA Wimbledon: Serena Williams battles past Alison Riske to enter last four

The seven-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams is through to the 12th semi-final at Wimbledon, beating Alison Riske 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 in two hours. Competing in her first Major quarter-final, Riske gave her best to topple a great rival, staying in touch in the first six games of the decider before Serena earned a crucial break in game eight to remain on the title course.

It was a high-quality contest and both players had more winners than unforced errors, trying to impose risky shots and move the thunder away from the opponent. In the end, Williams fired 48 winners and 27 unforced errors, taking six points more than Riske who had 25 winners and 18 errors.

In the end, it all came down to those pivotal moments and Serena had a slight edge in them, suffering five breaks from as many chances given to Alison and converting six out of 16 opportunities on the return to cross the finish line first.

Serena netted a backhand in the third game to lose serve, pulling it back with a volley winner in game six to level the score at 3-3. Trading more breaks in games seven and eight, Serena delivered another one at 5-4 when Riske netted a volley, earning three straight breaks to steal the opener 6-4 after 37 minutes.

Alison was the better player in set number two, serving well and breaking Serena with a half-volley winner in the ninth game and sealing the set with a hold at love for a 6-4 and the deciding set. There were four breaks of serve in the opening five games (Serena led 3-1 before getting broken) and it was Williams who held at love at 3-3 and scored a break in the next game after a double fault from Riske, moving 5-3 up and serving for the win.

There were no mistakes from the great champion in that ninth game, holding at 15 with an 18th ace of the match to seal the deal and book the place in the semi-final, 19 years after the first one in 2000!