Wimbledon: Serena Williams makes her charge as top seeds fall

Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands hits a shot during her fourth round match against Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic. Peter Nicholls Reuters

After Pliskova's loss, the highest remaining seed in the women's singles is Angelina Kerber, who is seeded at No. 11.

Or when, about 10 minutes later, she stretched for a lunging backhand victor to break at love and take control of the third set, then raised a fist, figuring a berth in her 11th semifinal at the All England Club was close at hand.

Not one top-10 seed has made the women's quarterfinals at Wimbledon.

Dominika Cibulkova faces Jelena Ostapenko, Daria Kasatkina battles Angelique Kerber, and Kiki Bertens plays Julia Goerges in the other quarterfinal clashes. I just tried to fight for every point.

It is the third time Kerber has reached the last four at Wimbledon, where she was runner-up in 2016.

"I faced a thousand and three seeds in my life, so I'm okay with that", Williams responded when asked if she would have preferred stiffer tests. She missed Wimbledon a year ago because she was pregnant, going about 16 months between Grand Slam tournaments, so her ranking is just outside the top 180.

Williams opted not to challenge when she saw a shot called long, although Hawk-Eye proved it was actually in, and Giorgi went on to bring up two break points, with Serena then mis-hitting wide to surrender the game. Williams will next face Italy's Camila Giorgi, who beat American Madison Brengle 6-4, 6-4. In February 2017, the star accidentally announced that she was expecting her first child via Snapchat.

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Once Williams had figured out how to break the Giorgi serve, though, in the fourth game of the second set, the momentum changed.

Incredibly, Goerges had won only five matches in 10 previous visits to The All England Club - and none in the past five years - before arriving last week.

The victor of the Williams and Giorgi match battles Bertens or Goerges in the semifinals.

"It was a very tough match but I was just trying to enjoy it".

Two successive aces, clocked at 103 and 106 miles per hour, gave the 21-year-old the first set and the 2017 French Open champion tightened her grip on the contest when she ended another flurry of breaks to go 4-2 up in the second. The two met last month in the second round at the French Open, with Williams winning in straight sets. "Everybody has the same chances to win that match, and I'm looking forward to it".

Williams faces Camila Giorgi of Italy next, while 11th-seeded Angelique Kerber plays Daria Kasatkina of Russian Federation.

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