In the last round she was just points away from being knocked out in what would have been a massive shock by Britain’s Heather Watson.
“It was a high-quality match”, Azarenka told reporters.
“I definitely am the type of person that likes to have a laugh at themselves, especially when it looks like I have done something stupidly ridiculous”, the 23-year-old said. The American has won 20 of the 27 Grand Slams where she has reached the last four.
Three consecutive aces at 4-2 in the third set moved her to within a game of victory and although 23rd seed Azarenka hung on and threatened to break back, Williams would not be denied and stayed on course for a 21st grand slam title.
Although Serena and Sharapova are arguably the most famous active female athletes in the world, their rivalry is highly lopsided.
Serena has won all four of her semi-final meetings with Sharapova and defeated the Russian in their previous Wimbledon clash in the last 16 in 2010. As Serena has said many times, she wouldn’t be the player she is today if it wasn’t for Venus.
“I just thought, ‘Wow, I’m 33, and she just turned 35”. I don’t think it’s limited to Wimbledon.
“It was very entertaining”.
She wrote: “Half the empty but yet some of the best in women’s tennis playing”.
Vandeweghe, the world number 47, edged out the Czech sixth seed 7-6 (7/1), 7-6 (7/4) on Court 3 to reach the quarter-finals of a major for the first time.
Both Serena and Venus have won five titles at the All England Club, but Serena is on track for a true Grand Slam after winning the Australian Open and French Open. I missed a couple second serve returns. Matches from Centre Court on Tuesday will get underway when Sharapova takes on unseeded American Coco Vandeweghe.
“Towards the later end of the second set, I said if she has a problem speaking to Maria, if she’s too scared to do it, I had no problem speaking to her”. So that helped me tremendously to really grow myself as a person, as an athlete, and I feel different than I was before my injury. “I try to play as fair as I can”.
Azarenka, to her credit, tried gamely to stave off the inevitable.
Vandeweghe admitted she was unaffected by the noise from her opponent. “I still have to find that extra step to go a little bit further”, the 25-year-old said. Serena is not going to go quietly: not in a match, not this year, and not in her career.
Here Sportsmail explains three reasons why the younger Williams sister has every right to feel confident ahead of her semi-final showdown…
However, the 28-year-old will need to improve a serve which has never been the same since career-threatening shoulder surgery.
CoCo Vandeweghe became the second American woman to reach the Wimbledon quarterfinals Monday by upsetting French Open runner-up Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic in straight sets.
What happened in the ensuing game might have been the turning point. With more confidence, she returned to form and demolished Govortsova 6-1 in the third set. Her forehand down the line sailed long.
The five-time champion dropped the first set 6-3 but evened the match by winning the second 6-2.
And the level here was extraordinarily high for the two hours and three minutes the match lasted although there was an inevitability about the result once they entered the concluding stages. It’s such a great atmosphere to be out here and playing and doing the best that we can.
Waiting in the final for the victor will be either Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska, who Williams beat to win her fifth and last Wimbledon title in 2012, or Spain’s 20th-ranked Garbine Muguruza.