Williams Defeats Azarenka To Reach Wimbledon Semifinals

Serena Williams of the United States celebrates winning the singles match against Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon, London, Tuesday July 7, 2015. Williams won 3-6, 6-2, 6-3.  (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

Serena Williams of the United States celebrates winning the singles match against Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon, London, Tuesday July 7, 2015. Williams won 3-6, 6-2, 6-3. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

LONDON -- Serena Williams' latest Grand Slam match against Victoria Azarenka ended the same way as the previous nine - with Williams walking off as the winner.

The top-ranked Williams fought back from a set down Tuesday to beat Azarenka 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 to reach the Wimbledon semifinals and keep her bid alive for a fourth straight major title.

Coming up with big serves when she needed them and getting stronger as the match wore on, Williams put on a dominant performance in the final two sets, winning seven straight games at one stretch, to run her Grand Slam winning streak to 26 matches.

Williams served 17 aces, including three in the final game, to extend her career record against Azarenka to 17-3 - including 10-0 in Grand Slam play.

It's the first time Williams has reached the Wimbledon semifinals since 2012, when she won the last of her five titles at the All England Club.

Williams' next opponent will be 2004 champion Maria Sharapova, who beat unseeded American CoCo Vandeweghe in three sets. Williams holds a career 17-2 advantage against the Russian.

Williams is two wins away from winning her fourth consecutive Grand Slam tournament, which would match the "Serena Slam" she last achieved in 2002-03. A victory in the U.S. Open would then remain to complete a calendar-year Grand Slam, which hasn't been accomplished since Steffi Graf in 1988.

BY STEPHEN WILSON -Jul 7, 2:05 PM EDTAP

 
 

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