By Godwin Aikigbe
Serena Williams on Tuesday became the lowest ranked player to become Wimbledon semi-finalist in the Open era.
Ranked 181 in the world, the American achieved the feat after surviving early scare before dispatching Camila Giorgi 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
The 36-year-old will take on No.13 seed Julia Goerges, whom she defeated in the Roland-Garros just six weeks ago, for a place in her tenth Wimbledon final.
Speaking to BBC after the match, Serena said she wasn’t expecting her opponent to be easy.
She said: “Every time I play Giorgi she always plays to this level, but she does it against everyone, which is pretty impressive.
“So I knew it wouldn’t be an easy match. I wasn’t surprised by the first set. I don’t know what I did. I just thought, ‘all right, let’s go three sets’. Just keep fighting. I feel good about my game. I did better in this match – I had to – but it’s only my fourth tournament back. I don’t feel pressure. I don’t feel I have to win. I feel like I’m back but I still have a long way to go.”
Before this quarter-final, Giorgi announced that she doesn’t follow tennis, but we who do will remember her stunning first set for a long time. Here was the 26-year-old, with just two Grand Slam fourth round appearances to her name, the most recent of those five long years ago at the US Open; a player who had never unburdened Williams of so much as a set in three previous encounters, answering Serena’s power game with bombs of her own.