Five-time champion Venus Williams reached the Wimbledon semi-finals for the first time since 2009 with victory over Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova today.
Eighth seed Williams – at 36 the oldest Grand Slam semi-finalist for 22 years – beat unseeded Shvedova 7-6 (7-5) 6-3.
“I love playing the game,” said Williams, who slipped outside the world’s top 100 in 2011 after being diagnosed with the immune system disease Sjogren’s Disease. “When you’re winning matches it makes it that much sweeter.”
The American, who played her first Wimbledon in 1997, recovered from losing an early break to win the opening set tie-break from 5-2 down.
She then dominated the second set, racing into a 5-1 lead and holding off signs of a Shvedova comeback to serve out the win.
An all-Williams final remains possible after top seed Serena beat Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4 6-4.
In Thursday’s semis, Serena will play Russia’s Elena Vesnina and Venus will take on Germany’s Angelique Kerber.
“We don’t really talk too much about it but we are playing doubles later, so we are just happy to be in the semi-finals,” Serena said.
Asked about a potential final meeting, she added: “It will be great. Venus is such a tough opponent I want her to win so bad – not in the final if I am there, but if I’m not, I do.”
Kerber, the fourth seed, beat Romanian fifth seed Simona Halep 7-5 7-6 (7-2) in the opening match on Centre Court.
Unseeded Russian Vesnina thrashed Slovakian 19th seed Cibulkova 6-2 6-2 in the remaining quarter-final on court one.