Surprise Elena Vesnina Joins Angelique Kerber, Williams Sisters in Wimbledon Semis
by Staff | July 5th, 2016, 12:05 pm

No. 50-ranked Elena Vesnina was the happy odd-woman-out on Tuesday when she joined world No. 1 Serena Williams, former No. 1 Venus Williams and Australian Open champion Angie Kerber in the semifinals at Wimbledon.
The unseeded 29-year-old Vesnina advanced into the semis with a 6-2, 6-2 drubbing of No. 19-seeded Dominika Cibulkova.

“I held my level for the whole match and I’m just so happy,” Vesnina said “I knew she was in great form, but me too. I feel that I’m playing better and better every match…I was really saying to myself that I have to enjoy it because, no matter what, I’m playing Wimbledon.”

The reward for Vesnina, who had prior to this week never reached a Grand Slam quarterfinal in her career, is a meeting with the world No. 1 Serena, who on Tuesday defeated No. 23-ranked Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 6-4.

“I’m excited to have been able to win that one and get through,” said Serena, who didn’t face a break point on serve. “It feels really good. One thing I’ve learned this year is just to focus on the match.”

Venus and Kerber booked a semifinal encounter when the No. 4-seeded Kerber beat No. 5 Simona Halep 7-5, 7-6(2), and the elder Williams sister defeated unseeded No. 96-ranked Yaroslava Shvedova 7-6(5), 6-2.

“What a tough day on the court,” said Venus, who was 2-5 down in the first set tiebreak. “The tiebreaker, it felt like she would win. I felt like my opponent was on fire…I felt like the crowd enjoyed all the great points. She got them involved in the last game. We gave them good tennis today.”

The Kerber-Halep match featured 13 breaks of serve over two sets.

“I think actually it was a good match, on a really high level from both of us,” Kerber said. “There were a lot of breaks but I think because we are both great return players, it was not so easy to serve actually. It was a really high-level match.”

Serena is 4-0 career against Vesnina, but this will be their first meeting in three years. Kerber leads Venus 3-2 in their career meetings, with Venus winning their most recent encounter at Montreal in 2014 in three sets.

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10 Comments for Surprise Elena Vesnina Joins Angelique Kerber, Williams Sisters in Wimbledon Semis

Daniel Says:

It would be great to see a Williams finals, specially if Venus wins. That would be sweet considering everything she went through. But Serena losing another Slam final would be alarming.

BBB Says:

Hard for me to see Venus being able – emotionally – to deprive her sister of a record.

RZ Says:

I think we are headed for an all Williams final, though Kerber has a chance to knock Venus out.

BBB Says:

I think Kerber wll win. She’s a good retriever, and I think it will tax Venus.

jane Says:

cute picture of vesnina on the front page. it’s fun to have a new face in the mix, although i am sure serena will win their match.

J-Kath Says:

Dimitri + Coach Davin have gone their separate ways. Grigor says wasn’t working well.

chrisford1 Says:

High stakes sibling tennis matches have the same allure to me as Game of Thrones sibling sex. Ugh!

BBB Says:

J-Kath: wow. That dude is lost.

Here’s a quote: “I mean, I know how to play tennis in the same time,” he said. “I just have to do a little bit extra work on my own with the racquets, with the stringing, the balls, the courts, the practice. Other than that, you know, I’m pretty comfortable right now, and happy.”

Me too, Grigor. I just need to work on my forehand, my backhand, my serve, my volley….

RZ Says:

Another note on Vesnina – she’s still in the women’s doubles too and until a walkover today was also in the mixed. I think she and Makarova next play Serena and Venus. Amazing that 3 of the women’s semifinalists are also in the mixed quarters. She was in the second round of mixed doubles with Bruno Soares – don’t know whether it was Vesnina’s heavy load or Soares’s long men’s match that resulted in the walkover.

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