Serena Williams may have been out of the grand slam game for roughly 16 months as she started a family, but when her back is against the wall — as one opponent put it last month — the real Serena still comes out.
Severely tested for the first time this Wimbledon, Williams rallied to beat big-hitting Italian Camila Giorgi 3-6 6-3 6-4 Tuesday to move to within two matches of a record-tying 24th grand slam title.
“Sometimes I feel, ‘Man, I’m in trouble,'” said Williams. “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.”
It would be a first grand slam title as a mum — or should that be second, given the American was in the early stages of pregnancy while claiming the Australian Open in 2017? She gave birth to daughter Olympia last September.
Her next test comes in the form of 13th-seed Julia Goerges, while twice grand slam winner Angelique Kerber and 2017 French Open titlist Jelena Ostapenko tangle in the other semifinal.
“I think everything right now is a little bit of a surprise,” said Williams, ranked 181st but awarded a special seeding of 25th due to her Wimbledon and overall pedigree . “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. But when it actually happens, it still is, like, ‘Wow, this is really happening.'”