Wednesday 18 October 2017 / 12:14 AM

WIMBLEDON DAY 8 WRAP: VENUS’ 10TH SEMI, NOVAK CRUISES

Venus Williams reached her 10th Wimbledon semi-final overnight, as she continued her inspiring run at the Championships with a straight setS 6-3, 7-5 victory against reigning French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko.

Williams, 37, is now only two wins away from becoming the oldest women’s champion in open-era history, as she searches for his sixth crown at the All England Club. The last time Williams won Wimbledon was nine years ago in 2008, when she defeated sister Serena 7-5, 6-4 in the final.

“Winning never gets old, ever,” Williams said in her post match news conference earlier in the week.

“I feel quite capable, to be honest, and powerful,” she added yesterday, refusing to let her age be a barrier.

“So whatever age that is, as long as I feel like that, then I know that I can contend for titles every time.”

Williams entered the tournament under a cloud of stress stemming from her involvement in a fatal car accident last month but she hasn’t let it hinder her campaign.

The World No. 11 fired eight aces and struck 13 winners past the impulsive Ostapenko to set up a semi-final meeting with Johanna Konta.

Konta endured a tougher battle – an enthralling three set 6-7 (2), 7-6 (5), 6-4 tussle with second ranked Simona Halep – to reach her very first Wimbledon semi-final. In fact this fortnight is the first time Konta has advanced beyond the second round at the All England Club in six attempts.

At one stage the World No. 7 was just two points away from defeat in the second set, but she refused to give in and ultimately surged back to clinch victory in the third set. In doing so, Konta became the first British woman since 1978 to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals.

“Right now it’s a little bit surreal,” Konta told the BBC.

“I stuck to my true self and tried to create as many opportunities as possible.

I knew she was not going to give much away for free so I definitely had to be the one to create my own chances. I did that and feel fortunate to have taken a few of them.”

Garbine Muguruza also continued her fine form with a surprisingly comfortable 6-3, 6-4 win against the powerful Svetlana Kuznetsova. She is now on track to face Magdalena Rybarikova for a place in her second ever Wimbledon final.

The unseeded Rybarikova has been the surprise package of the Championships, upsetting Karolina Pliskova and Coco Vandeweghe on her path to her very first Grand Slam semi-final.

“I really cannot believe it. I would never believe I could reach the semi-final before this tournament. I am so happy and grateful,”a gleaming Rybarikova told BBC.

“It was a very difficult time over the last year with my injuries but now everything has paid off. It is incredible, I am speechless.

“I was afraid of how I was going to play here. This is Wimbledon. I was very focussed and here I am.

“Muguruza impressed me a lot today, I am not the favourite again but let’s see.”

Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic didn’t waste any time booking his place in the quarterfinals with a straight set 6-2, 7-6 (5), 6-4 win against the fiery Adrian Mannarino. Their match was delayed from yesterday due to Rafael Nadal and Gilles Muller’s five hour epic.

Djokovic won 71 per cent of his first service points and struck 36 winners to negate the pressure of Mannarino. The three-time champion will now face Tomas Berdych, as a highly anticipated semi-final showdown with Roger Federer looms.

AUSSIE TRACKER

Henri Kontinen and John Peers (1) play suspended v Ryan Harrison and Michael Venus (10): 6-4, 6-7 (5), 4-3

Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua (8) v Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina (2): 10:00PM tonight

Day 8 upsets – Top seeds who bundled out

Simona Halep (2) lost to Johanna Konta (6): 7-6 (2), 6-7 (5), 4-6

Svetlana Kuznetsova (7) lost to Garbine Muguruza (14): 3-6, 4-6

Coco Vandeweghe (24) lost to Magdalena Rybarikova: 3-6, 3-6

Day 9 schedule

CENTRE COURT – 1:00PM

  1. Andy Murray (GBR) [1] v Sam Querrey (USA) [24]
  2. Milos Raonic (CAN) [6] v Roger Federer (SUI) [3]

 

NO.1 COURT – 1:00PM

  1. Gilles Muller (LUX) [16] v Marin Cilic (CRO) [7]
  2. Tomas Berdych (CZE) [11] v Novak Djokovic (SRB) [2]

 

NO.2 COURT – 11:30AM

  1. Henri Kontinen (FIN) [1] / John Peers (AUS) [1] v Ryan Harrison (USA) [10] / Michael Venus (NZL) [10]
  2. Ashleigh Barty (AUS) [8] / Casey Dellacqua (AUS) [8] v Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) [2] / Elena Vesnina (RUS) [2]
  3. John Peers (AUS) / Sabine Lisicki (GER) v Marcelo Demoliner (BRA) / Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez (ESP)
  4. Henri Kontinen (FIN) / Heather Watson (GBR) v Ivan Dodig (CRO) [4] / Sania Mirza (IND) [4]

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Alyssia Varricchio

Alyssia Varricchio is a sports reporter, journalist and producer based in Melbourne.

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