Serena Williams has confidently marched into the semifinals of the Wimbledon 2016, after beating Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 6-4. The defeat has made her move a step closer to equalling Steffi Graf’s feat of an open-era record of 22 grand slam titles.
The 25-year-old Russian fought in the match against Williams, but Williams was in total control, breaking her opponent in the ninth game of each set and never having to face a break point of her own in a comprehensive victory.
Williams who spoke after the game said, “I’m excited to have been able to win that one and get through. It feels really good,” said an utterly composed Williams afterwards. “One thing I’ve learned this year is just to focus on the match.”
The Williams serve was at its best on a bright, breezy, becalmed Centre Court. Her ratio of points won on the 67% of occasions on which she got her first attempt in was a brutal 90%.
The Russian who spoke after the game said that, “I thought today she was there since the first points to the last,” said Pavlyuchenkova, who admitted to being very nervous before the match, so desperate was she to give a good account of herself on a surface that is far from her favourite.“I thought I had not many chances at all on the return. She was serving amazingly today. There was a bit of breeze out there as well. I thought that was helping her a little bit more.”
The Russian, who made her debut in her Wimbledon quarter-final and making only her third singles appearance at this stage in any grand slam, was far from overawed in the early exchanges. Instead, it was Williams who, if anything, cut the more frustrated figure.