Williams was in danger of a shock quarter-final exit after a slow start on Centre Court on Tuesday, but the five-time Wimbledon champion eventually battered 23rd seed Azarenka into submission in two hours and three minutes with a barrage of 43 winners and 14 aces.
Williams made few errors and won seven straight games after wobbling in the first set, a 3-6 loss, before winning the match with 6-2, 6-3 victories.
Victoria Azarenka has hit out at sections of the Centre Court crowd for laughing at her and Serena Williams grunting in the heat of a classic Wimbledon quarter-final.
Only ex- world number one Azarenka had the power to match Williams, and even she could not cope, the 20-time major champion triumphing 3-6 6-2 6-3.
SHE is two matches away from winning the Serena Slam.
If Sharapova is to play more than one more match in this year’s tournament, that sort of inexactitude will not be good enough.
Kevin Anderson, who will resume his fourth-round match against top-seeded Novak Djokovic at about 1 p.m., stopped practicing for a short time to mark the commemoration.
“It’s such a great atmosphere to be out here and playing and doing the best that we can”, said Williams in a BBC interview after the match. The underdog was up 40-15 in the sixth game but Serena fought hard and gained the break with a cross court backhand pass that Azarenka could not get back over the net and a huge roar towards her box, raising her fist towards her coach in triumph.
“That’s my game on grass”, she said.
The last American left in the men’s or women’s singles draw, as per usual, danced her dance on Centre Court after yet another victory at Wimbledon.
Maria Sharapova of Russian Federation reacts after breaking serve during her match against Coco Vandeweghe of the US at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, July 7, 2015. Going for broke on her shots, she increasingly dictated the rallies and took the second set on a tiebreak with her 26th victor.
“I mean, it is what it is”, said Sharapova. So much so that an audible obscenity popped out of Azarenka’s mouth, earning her a code violation. So I don’t know.
But the 28-year-old was accused of unsporting behaviour by Vandeweghe, who was unhappy that Sharapova was moving during the American’s service action.
Djokovic will next face Marin Cilic on Wednesday in the quarterfinals.
Azarenka pulled off the occasional stunning victor down the flanks, where Williams is always most vulnerable.
Maria Sharapova is the next woman tasked with trying to stop the world No 1 but she faces an uphill struggle. She dropped the next seven games to find herself level at a set apiece and trailing 2-0 in the decider before finally getting back the elevated set that saw her take the early lead. I’m 33, and she just turned 35. The serve of the number one seed remained impeccable as she blasted three aces and a barely returned serve to race to 5-2; Azarenka was then under vast pressure to not be broken for the match.
It was an exciting moment for Vandeweghe, but the momentum quickly dissipated as she double-faulted and committed two forehand errors in the following game, giving Sharapova the break and the 4-2 advantage.
The top-ranked Djokovic beat the 14th-seeded Anderson 7-5 in the fifth set on Court 1 to complete a match that had been suspended by darkness at two sets apiece.