After consecutive three set escapes, Serena Williams’ couldn’t get lucky a third time today in Lexington. The former No. 1 was closed out in thriller by Shelby Rogers 1-6, 6-4, 7-6(5) in the quarterfinals.
The 38-year-old Serena led 3-1 in the final set breaker but Rogers benefited from a double fault and won six of the last eight points to collect her biggest win in years, and her third career Top 10 victory.
“It was important for me going onto the court thinking I could win that match, and knowing I could take care of my service games,” Rogers said after her first meeting with Serena. “[Serena] has probably the best serve of all time, and when she wants to, she can win a point on her serve.”
“I just tried to control what I could control, and that’s mostly my service games, and then if I had an opportunity, I tried to capitalize,” she added. “I think the few that I did have today, I was able to do that.”
Serena posted tough come-from-behind wins over Bernarda Pera and Venus Williams.
“I could play a lot better, I think that’s the main thing I can take from this match,” Serena said.
“I made it difficult on myself by making a plethora of unforced errors.”
While Serena heads to New York for Cincinnati, Rogers will now meet Jill Teichmann in the semifinals after the Swiss dispatched Cici Bellis in straight sets.
In the other semifinal, Americans Coco Gauff and Jen Brady collide. Brady bombarded Marie Bouzkova 6-1, 6-2.
“I think I wasn’t expecting to go barely an hour in each match, but I think the way I’m playing, I’m playing pretty aggressive, playing smart, playing well,” Brady said, during her post-match press conference. “I definitely earned the wins that I’ve had, and I’m happy to be in the semifinals.”
The 16-year-old Gauff was down a set and 4-2 to Tunisian Ons Jabuer before rallying to win 10 of the last 11 games to take it 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 to reach her second WTA level semifinal.
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