LONDON, July 10: Jelena Ostapenko became the first Latvian woman to reach a Wimbledon semi-final as the former French Open champion beat Dominika Cibulkova 7-5, 6-4 on Tuesday.
Just four years ago, Ostapenko was winning the junior Wimbledon title and now the youngest player left in the women’s singles is only one win away from the final.
Ostapenko hasn’t dropped a set in her first five matches after the 12th seed battled past Slovakian world number 33 Cibulkova on Court One.
Ostapenko’s second Grand Slam semi-final appearance will be against former Wimbledon finalist Angelique Kerber on Thursday.
Serena Williams stayed on track for an eighth Wimbledon title as she fought back to beat Italian Camila Giorgi 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a fiercely contested quarter-final on Tuesday.
For the first time in the tournament the 36-year-old was seriously challenged as unseeded Giorgi, playing in her first Grand Slam quarter-final, fought fire with fire to claim the opening set on Centre Court.
Williams responded by raising the intensity level and began striking the ball with ferocious power to break Giorgi’s serve for the first time on her way to levelling the match.
Angelique Kerber clinched her third appearance in the Wimbledon semi-finals with a 6-3, 7-5 win over Russian 14th seed Daria Kasatkina on Tuesday.
Kerber is bidding to win the Wimbledon title for the first time after losing the 2016 final to Serena Williams.
The 30-year-old German remains on course after booking the seventh Grand Slam semi-final berth of her career.
Kerber, who won the Australian and US Open titles in 2016, plays former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko on Thursday for a place in Saturday’s final.
“I was expecting a close match. We’ve played so many tough matches,” Kerber said after she finally sealed the win on her seventh match point.
Germany’s Julia Goerges advanced to the Wimbledon semi-finals for the first time with a 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 win against Dutch 20th seed Kiki Bertens on Tuesday.
Goerges, seeded 13th, faces seven-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams on Thursday for a place in Saturday’s final.
Goerges had suffered five successive opening round defeats at the All England Club before this year.
It also took her until her 42nd Grand Slam appearance to finally get through to the last four at a major.
But the 29-year-old has erased those painful memories with a superb run, capped by a come from behind success against Bertens in her first Grand Slam quarter-final. (AFP)