Serena Williams scored a three-set victory over fellow American Alison Riske on Tuesday to advance to the semifinals at Wimbledon.
The 11th-seeded Williams overcame a stiff challenge from Riske, winning 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 to move to the final four at Wimbledon for the 12th time in her career.
Williams Coming Into Form at Wimbledon
The 37-year-old Williams played perhaps her best match since she returned after giving birth to her daughter in September 2017. It was something that Williams herself noticed, saying that beating such a determined opponent wouldn’t have been possible for her even in the recent past.
“I wouldn’t have won that match a couple weeks ago,” Williams told the BBC after the match. “It’s been a long, arduous road. I lost my serve a few times and lost it at 40-15 up. The big game experience really counted. She was playing her heart out and had nothing to lose, and neither did I.”
Williams also noted that she believes she still has to get better to win the tournament. That might not necessarily be the case in her semifinal match, where she’ll face unseeded Barbora Strycova, who advanced past No. 19 seed Johanna Konta 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 on Tuesday. At FanDuel Sportsbook, Williams is a -410 favorite over Strycova in their semifinal.
Halep Finds Footing on Grass
But more dangerous opponents await on the other side of the draw. No. 8 seed Elina Svitolina defeated Karolina Muchova 7-5, 6-4 to advance, while No. 7 Simona Halep beat Shuai Zhang 7-6 (7-4), 6-1 to reach her second Wimbledon semifinal.
Halep hasn’t traditionally been at her best on grass courts, but says that’s started to change over the past week.
“I started to feel comfortable on the court,” Halep said, via Tennis.com. “I didn’t slide at all this tournament. It’s a little bit dangerous when you play on grass because the feet are not really stable as you are on hard court or clay court. That’s why I prefer those surfaces.”
Halep (-210) is considered a strong favorite over Svitolina (+176) in the second women’s semifinal. Overall, Williams (+100) is now the top pick to win the tournament, just ahead of Halep (+170).
‘Murena’ Moves on in Mixed Doubles
Men’s play will pick up again with the quarterfinals on Wednesday, where Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Roger Federer are all heavily favored to move into the semifinals. Djokovic (-140) is still the odds-on favorite to win the men’s title, with Federer (+300) and Nadal (+370) considered his only serious challengers.
Men’s Quarterfinal Odds (Via FanDuel)
- Sam Querrey (+660) vs. Rafael Nadal (-1100)
- Novak Djokovic (-1700) vs. David Goffin (+1140)
- Guido Pella (+400) vs. Roberto Bautista Agut (-550)
- Kei Nishikori (+680) vs. Roger Federer (-1100)
But while the singles competitions traditionally overshadow anything else that happens at Wimbledon, there is an exception this year. The mixed doubles combination of Andy Murray and Serena Williams has captivated fans in London, and while the duo can’t seem to agree whether their nickname should be “Ser Andy” or “Murena”, they’ll getting along famously on the court.
On Tuesday afternoon, Williams and Murray advanced through to the third round by defeating Fabrice Martin and Raquel Atawo 7-5, 6-3. They’ll now move on to play the No. 1 seeded combination of Bruno Soares and Nicole Melichar on Wednesday.