German 11th seed Angelique Kerber reached the Wimbledon semi-finals with a 6-3 7-5 win over Russian Daria Kasatkina on Tuesday but needed seven match points to see off the 14th seed.
Twice Grand Slam winner Kerber, 30, will next face Latvian 12th seed Jelena Ostapenko in the last four on Thursday.
The highest seed left in the women’s draw, 2016 finalist Kerber was 3-0 up in the first set before her 21-year-old opponent had time to react.
Kasatkina steadied herself to reach 3-4 before she double-faulted on break point and lamely surrendered the game to Kerber, who then served for the set.
That was to be the story of the match with the Russian delighting the gasping crowd with some outrageously talented returns and passing shots only to self-destruct on serve.
Kerber again broke to go 3-1 up in the second set before Kasatkina levelled for 3-3 only for another double fault to put Kerber back in the driving seat.
The Russian broke back again for 4-4 but the German replied in kind immediately.
With Kerber serving for a place in the last four, Kasatkina earned two break points with a forehand and levelled the scores before again failing to hold her serve and being left on the backfoot.
Kasatkina then saved five match points before surviving yet another thanks to Hawkeye, with Kerber’s lob landing just beyond the baseline. The German finally won through to the semis when Kasatkina’s return found the net.