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.
You Might Like:
Venus Sets, Serena Rises to Face Angelique Kerber in Wimbledon Final
Serena, Venus One Win From Another Wimbledon Final; Angelique Kerber, Elena Vesnina Try To Spoil It
Both Williams Sisters Serena, Venus Into Quarters, Agnieszka Radwanska Toppled at Wimbledon
Venus Sent Off By Vesnina, Azarenka Rolls; Serena Returns Saturday In Miami
Federer, Djokovic Line Up SF Meeting; Williams Sisters Win 2 at Wimbledon