Wimbledon 2018: Serena Williams to face Julia Goerges in semi-finals

first_imgSerena Williams came from a set down to beat Italian Camila Giorgi 3-6 6-3 6-4 in a well-faught Wimbledon quarter-final on Tuesday at Centre Court.For the first time in the tournament the 36-year-old was seriously challenged as unseeded Giorgi, playing in her first Grand Slam quarter-final, fought fire with fire to claim the opening set on Centre Court.The 36-year-old saw a serious challenge for the first time in this year’s Wimbledon from the unseeded Giorgi, who was playing her first Grand Slam quarters. The Italian played fiercely and claimed the opening set but the seasoned American was too experienced and faught back well to take the next two sets and set up a semis clash with Julia Goerges.Earlier, Germany’s Goerges had defeated Kiki Bertens 3-6 7-5 6-1 to reach her first major Grand Slam semi-final. The 13th seed ended Bertens’ giant-killing run after faltering in the first set.Angelique Kerber, Jelena Ostapenko set up semi-final clashCOMEBACK VICTORY FOR SERENAWilliams responded to losing the first set by raising the intensity level and began striking the ball with ferocious power to break Giorgi’s serve for the first time on her way to levelling the match.World number 52 Giorgi dropped serve to love early in the decider but hung in gamely to at least make Williams serve to reach her 35th Grand Slam semi-final and 11th at Wimbledon.Once again, Serena reigns supreme on Centre [email protected] marches on…#Wimbledon pic.twitter.com/meRl9qB0l7Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 10, 2018Williams stepped up to the line at 5-4 and brought up match point with an ace before completing victory when Giorgi could only push a forehand into the net.advertisement”Every time I play Giorgi she always plays that level so I knew going in it would not be an easy match,” Williams, who will face German 13th seed Julia Goerges in the semi-finals, said shortly after walking off court.”After the first set I said ‘okay let’s go three sets’, I just kept fighting.”Williams is playing only her fourth tournament since returning to the Tour after giving birth to daughter Alexis Olympia nine months ago and arrived with a ranking of 181, although she was bumped up to 25th seed.After claiming a 19th consecutive match win at the tournament she won in 2015 and 2016 but missed last year, she said she still had a way to go to regain her top level.But with none of the top eight seeds left in the draw she is now a huge favourite to claim a 24th Grand Slam title and move level with Margaret Court on the all-time list.”I feel good, I felt like I did better today, I had to, but this is only my fourth tournament back so I don’t feel any pressure and have to win this,” she said.”I’m here just to prove that I’m back, and I feel like I’m back.”GEORGES ENDS BERTENS’ DREAM RUNA brilliant comeback victory…Serena Williams awaits @juliagoerges in the #Wimbledon semi-finals pic.twitter.com/alLqfq6p9uWimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 10, 2018The two often go out for dinner together when they are playing at the same tournaments but there was no room for sharing any friendly banter as both eyed a place in the last four of the most famous tennis tournament.Dutchwoman Bertens, who had gained an appetite for eating up higher-ranked players having beaten ninth seed Venus Williams and number seven Karolina Pliskova over the past week, appeared well on her way to swallowing up another when she won the first set against Goerges.She also recovered from 4-1 down in the second to level up proceedings but Goerges kept on believing to subdue her pal and she booked a semi-final date with Serena Williams after watching a lunging Bertens roll the ball into the net on match point.Goerges’ win kept alive the possibility of Wimbledon staging an all-German women’s final on Saturday as twice major winner Angelique Kerber takes on Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko in the other semi.The #Wimbledon ladies’ semi-finals are [email protected] vs @juliagoerges @AngeliqueKerber vs @JelenaOstapenk8Who do you see reaching the final? pic.twitter.com/1PBXxwceFvWimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 10, 2018(With inputs from Reuters)last_img read more

Greg Rutherford retires: ‘I just don’t want to be in pain every day of my life’

first_img Allyson Felix: ‘I never want to be satisfied with losing’ Share via Email Twitter Topics “I used to do a lot of BMX as a kid and I’ve been a mountain biker all my life, so the idea of seeing what I can do on a track bike really appeals,” he says. “Of course I am realistic but, given I can produce a very large amount of power on a Watt bike, I want to see what I can do.“I know some people will dismiss the idea but I can’t understand the negativity,” he adds. “After all, other athletes have switched sports. Look at Marquise Goodwin, who was a London 2012 finalist in the long jump and is now an NFL wide receiver. I do a lot of bike workouts at the moment and it doesn’t hurt my body. So why not give it a go? The people I’ve spoken to at British Cycling have not said, ‘no chance’. They’ve said ‘try’. So I am going to do some lab testing.” Rutherford poses for a portrait at his local bike shop. Portraits by Tom Jenkins/Guardian Twitter Since you’re here… Athletics Reuse this content Share on Messenger They have not promoted the other kids coming through enough. Unfortunately we have a professional sport run by amateurs.Greg Rutherford Team GB “At times I am in so much pain I can’t even sit on the floor and play with my two kids,” says Greg Rutherford as he revs himself up for his greatest leap into the unknown. “I still feel I am fast. I still feel as if I am super strong. But whenever I try to sprint or jump I have to take three days off because I am limping so much. In the end it wears you down.”Suddenly it all comes rushing out: how the long jumper has been wrestling with retirement for three months because of an injury to his left ankle; how he has gone through the five stages of grief – from denial, anger, bargaining and depression to, finally, acceptance; and then, for the first time, how he will definitely end his career this summer. “At the weekend a 19-year-old Cuban, Juan Miguel Echevarria, jumped 8.83m in Stockholm – the longest since 1995 – and yet no one knows about it. The guy almost went out of the pit and could easily become the first athlete to jump nine metres. Everyone should be raving about him.”When asked if British Athletics has squandered the legacy of London 2012, he nods. “To a certain degree, yes,” he continues. “There was a period of time where they were relying on Jess, Mo and myself to carry on winning medals – and we did – but they have not promoted the other kids coming through enough. Unfortunately we have a professional sport run by amateurs.”Rutherford points to the likes of Dina Asher-Smith, who broke her British record last week, Zharnel Hughes, who ran 9.91sec at the weekend, and Sophie Hitchon, who won an Olympic hammer bronze in Rio, as athletes who should be better known. “But if you asked people in this coffee shop who they were, I’m not sure they would know.”Some of the blame, he believes, lies with athletes for not speaking out more. “Many of them seem to have almost a fear of revealing their personalities,” he said. “I can be chatting away to them, yet I see them five minutes later when the camera is on them they have nothing to say. It drives me crazy.“They can’t figure out that by being outspoken, and having things to say, it will promote the sport. I tell young athletes that without them there is no track and field, so they should be more forthright in evoking change. Because if you don’t, you are just going to be happy living your 10 years as a British athlete, retiring and having to get a normal job, which is what so many do.”Rutherford, however, has never been one to follow the herd. He has several retirement plans lined up – including TV and training work. But he has not completely given up on remaining in elite sport and has even talked to British Cycling about travelling to Manchester for testing later this year. Read more Facebook Read more Facebook Greg Rutherford: ‘I was the one stealing from the milk-float after an all-nighter’ Share on Twitter Pinterest Sign up to The Recap, our weekly email of editors’ picks. Twitter “I keep asking myself, what’s more important to me – trying to be a mediocre athlete holding on to past glories or moving on?” he says with unflinching honesty. “I’ll be 32 later this year. I don’t want to be the old man on the team who is making up the numbers. I want people to remember me for the good times.”There have certainly been plenty of those along the way – including, of course, that London 2012 gold medal, sandwiched neatly between those of Jessica Ennis-Hill and Mo Farah, during 46 minutes of cacophony and wild delirium at London’s Olympic Stadium.The internet snarks and fly-by-night fans dismissed his performance on an instantly anointed Super Saturday as a fluke. Rutherford’s response? To recover from a career-threatening hamstring rupture to win Commonwealth and European gold and set the British record of 8.51m in 2014 – and then, for good measure, to claim the world and Diamond League titles a year later. It made him the first British athlete to hold all the major outdoor titles at the same time. He was not finished there either, winning European gold and Olympic bronze in 2016, to confirm his status in the pantheon as one of Britain’s greatest track and field stars. For someone who was frequently dismissed as a fluke, he sure got lucky a lot of times. He laughs. “What was it that Gary Player said? ‘The more I train, the luckier I get.’”His voice suddenly goes quiet. “I have always had the tendency to put my career down, probably because I had this desire to always prove people wrong,” he admits. “But if you had told me 10 years ago I would be a five-time major winner, I would have bitten your hand off. I am very content with everything I have achieved. It’s the right time to move on.” Rutherford in action during his gold medal winning performance at the 2016 European Athletics Championships. Photograph: John Thys/AFP/Getty Images … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Support The Guardian interviews Facebook Along the way, however, his body has broken down more times than he can remember. And even totting up all his operations takes some calculating. “I have had four surgeries on my right ankle and one on my left,” he says, sipping a large coffee. “Then there was the groin reconstruction, which is as painful as it sounds, as well as having my stomach wall knitted back together. I’ve had my foot opened up, too. And earlier in my career I had all sorts of hamstring problems as well.” Pinterest Rutherford made his decision to retire only this week and, when asked what his legacy will be, he exhales loudly. “Oof! I hope people will see me as somebody who was always able to produce his best when it mattered most – an athlete who had a dogged determination to win, no matter who I was up against.” Pinterest He had hoped that the surgeon’s knife would work its magic on his left ankle last autumn but a pernicious problem with the cartilage refuses to budge.“As an athlete you often have pain, whether it’s training niggles or serious injuries, but with my ankle it is like having a dull toothache all the time,” he says. “I just don’t want to be in pain every single day of my life, which is how things currently are.”In the past Rutherford would sprint in training three or four times a week as well as jumping once or twice. His injuries, however, mean that he trains mostly on an exercise bike and has to restrict his jumping into a sandpit to competition this summer. No wonder, then, that his best leap in 2018 is only 7.89m. Yet while the prognosis is gloomy, he still hopes for a final shot at glory at this year’s European championships in Berlin.“I would love the opportunity to become the first man to win three successive European long jump titles,” he says. “And if I think I can win, I will go. But I am also going to be realistic. If my form isn’t there, I won’t stand in any British athlete’s way.”Rutherford will, however, definitely compete at the Anniversary Games in London next month and the Birmingham Diamond League in August. “Making this decision now gives me enough time to compete around the country and say thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout my career,” he explains.Yet Rutherford is worried about the state of the sport he is about to leave behind. “It’s probably a sign of the times that more people want to talk to me about Strictly Come Dancing than athletics,” he says. “Can you imagine that happening in the era of Seb Coe and Steve Ovett, or even Sally Gunnell and Linford Christie? Back then the sport was always on the BBC and on the back pages. Now nobody cares about athletics. Share on LinkedIn Share on Facebook Share on WhatsApp Greg Rutherford celebrates after winning the men’s long jump whilst Mo Farah runs past in the 10,000 metres final on Super Saturday at the 2012 Olympics. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/Guardian Share on Pinterestlast_img read more