Serena Williams battered Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4 6-4 in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon on Tuesday, seizing on moments of weakness from the Russian to ram home her advantage.
The defending champion, seeking an elusive 22nd grand slam to equal Steffi Graf’s open-era record, took the first set after finding a chink in her opponent’s serving armoury in the ninth game.
Pavlyuchenkova, the 21st seed, went for her shots but never found a way to counter the Williams attack. Nerves told again in the same game of the second set, where a series of errors allowed the American to break and then serve for the match.
The world No.1 wrapped up the tie on her second match point with a 123 mph ace for 11 in total.
Williams joins her sister Venus in the semi-finals on Thursday where she will meet another Russian, Elena Vesnina.
“We are playing doubles later so we are just so glad to both get through to the semi-finals,” Williams said.