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Serena Williams rallies into Wimbledon semifinals

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Serena Williams is two wins from her 24th Grand Slam singles title, eighth at Wimbledon and first since becoming a mom.

Williams rallied past Italian Camila Giorgi 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the Wimbledon quarterfinals on Tuesday.

“I feel like I’m back,” Williams said. “This is only my fourth tournament back, so I don’t feel pressure. I don’t feel like I have to win this. I still have a long way to go to be where I want.”

“Everything right now is a little bit of a surprise. To be here. To be in the semifinals. I mean, I always say I plan on it, I would like to be there, have these goals,” Williams said. “But when it actually happens, it still is, like, ‘Wow, this is really happening.’”

“It’s weird. Sometimes I feel, ‘Man, I’m in trouble.’ Sometimes I feel, ‘I can fight.’ For whatever reason, today I was so calm. Even when I was down the first set, I thought, ‘Well, she’s playing great. I’m doing a lot of the right things.’”

Giorgi, ranked No. 52 in the world, stood up to Williams’ power game in the first set as DrakeJustin TimberlakeJessica Biel and U.S. Olympic 400m hurdles runner Sydney McLaughlin looked on at Centre Court. She snapped Williams’ streak of 20 straight sets won at Wimbledon since she lost an opener to countrywoman Christina McHale in the second round in 2016.

Williams, ranked No. 181 due to a maternity-leave absence and seeded 25th at Wimbledon, broke Giorgi early in the second and third sets to reach Thursday’s semifinals. She will play No. 13 Julia Görges of Germany, a 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 winner over No. 20 Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands in the quarters.

It’s a golden opportunity for Williams, with no top-10 women’s seeds making the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam for the first time in the 50-year Open Era.

The other semifinal pits 2016 Australian Open and U.S. Open winner Angelique Kerber of Germany against 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia.

The No. 11 seed Kerber beat No. 14 Daria Kasatkina of Russia 6-3, 7-5 to make her third Wimbledon semifinal. The No. 12 seed Ostapenko ousted unseeded Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova 7-5, 6-5 to reach her first Wimbledon semi.

Wimbledon continues Wednesday with the men’s quarterfinals:

No. 1 Roger Federer vs. No. 8 Kevin Anderson
No. 9 John Isner vs. No. 13 Milos Raonic
No. 12 Novak Djokovic vs. No. 24 Kei Nishikori
No. 2 Rafael Nadal vs. No. 5 Juan Martin del Potro

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