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‘This is really happening’: Serena reaches Wimbledon semis

first_img“It’s pretty unreal for me,” said Goerges, who reached her first major semifinal at a tournament where she exited in the first round each of the past five years.The other semifinal is No. 11 seed Angelique Kerber of Germany vs. No. 12 Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia.Kerber is a former No. 1 who owns two Grand Slam titles and was the runner-up to Williams at Wimbledon two years ago. Ostapenko won last year’s French Open.Kerber needed seven match points to close out No. 14 Daria Kasatkina of Russia 6-3, 7-5 at Centre Court, while Ostapenko defeated 2014 Australian Open runner-up Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia 7-5, 6-4 at a windy No. 1 Court.After a series of upsets made this edition of Wimbledon the first since it began seeding players in the 1920s that none of the top 10 women reached the quarterfinals, Nos. 11, 12 and 13 are still around. And so is No. 25, Williams.The All England Club seeded her there as a nod to all of her past success at the grass-court major, including titles the last two times she entered, in 2015 and 2016. She missed Wimbledon a year ago because she was pregnant, going about 16 months between Grand Slam tournaments, so her ranking is just outside the top 180.That is going to change now.Told she is guaranteed of rising to 51st next week — and higher if she reaches the final or wins the championship — Williams joked: “Got to keep trekking on, though. Serena Williams, 51? Eh, it doesn’t have that same ring to it. The ‘1’ part does, but not the ‘5.’”Williams is 3-0 against Goerges, winning in straight sets each time.“Every match starts from zero,” Goerges said. “Everybody has the same chances to win that match, and I’m looking forward to it.” And after Williams came up with a comeback to beat 52nd-ranked Camila Giorgi of Italy 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 on Tuesday, she headed off Centre Court with her right index finger aloft. Yes, no matter what the rankings or seedings say, no matter how long she was away, Williams still looks capable of playing like someone who’s No. 1, just about 10 months after having a baby.“Everything right now is a little bit of a surprise. To be here. To be in the semifinals. I mean, I always say I plan on it, I would like to be there, have these goals,” Williams said. “But when it actually happens, it still is, like, ‘Wow, this is really happening.’”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’So what if she’s still getting her game in gear?So what if Giorgi wouldn’t seem to miss while moving out to that early lead? Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Report: Disney dropping the ‘Fox’ from movie studio names MOST READ Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Williams never was worried about losing.“It’s weird. Sometimes I feel, ‘Man, I’m in trouble.’ Sometimes I feel, ‘I can fight.’ For whatever reason, today I was so calm,” said 36-year-old American, who has been wearing compression leggings as a precaution after a blood-clot scare following her daughter’s birth. “Even when I was down the first set, I thought, ‘Well, she’s playing great. I’m doing a lot of the right things.’”Asked whether that might represent a new way of looking at things, Williams smiled.“No. Just to be clear, that was just today. I mean, I’m hoping this is, like, a new thing,” she said. “Honestly, I highly doubt it.”Next up for Williams as she tries to earn her eighth title at the All England Club and 24th Grand Slam trophy overall will be a match Thursday against No. 13 seed Julia Goerges of Germany, a 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 winner against No. 20 Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands.ADVERTISEMENT View comments ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. center_img After their most recent meeting, in the French Open’s third round last month, Williams pulled out of that tournament, citing a chest muscle injury that made it too painful to serve.She went a couple of weeks without practicing serves, and the rest did wonders. She hit one at 122 mph against Giorgi, delivered six of her seven aces in the final set, and won 44 of the last 54 points she served.“I messed up too much on my returns,” said Giorgi, questioning her decision to stand inside the baseline to receive serve.Rare is the player who can produce Williams’ sort of pace on serves — Giorgi’s average speeds were actually faster on first and second serves, and she delivered the match’s first three aces — and mirror her power in groundstroke exchanges at the baseline.But Giorgi plays with nary a trace of subtlety and more than a bit of abandon, taking risky, flat chops at the ball with serves, returns, forehands and backhands. She harbors no compunction about striving for a point-ending winner with every stroke. When she’s calibrating properly, it all can be tough for opponents to handle.Even Williams.Well, for a set, anyway.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Serena Williams of the United States celebrates winning her women’s singles quarterfinals match against Italy’s Camila Giorgi, at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London, Tuesday July 10, 2018.(AP Photo/Ben Curtis)LONDON — There are moments in which nothing at all seems different about Serena Williams, moments such as when she unleashed a 109 mph service winner to even her Wimbledon quarterfinal at a set apiece, leaned forward and yelled, loudly as can be, “Cooome ooon!”Or when, about 10 minutes later, she stretched for a lunging backhand winner to break at love and take control of the third set, then raised a fist, figuring a berth in her 11th semifinal at the All England Club was close at hand.ADVERTISEMENT Trump assembles a made-for-TV impeachment defense team Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Ronaldo leaving Real Madrid to join Italian club Juventus Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil LATEST STORIES Putin’s, Xi’s ruler-for-life moves pose challenges to Westlast_img read more

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Man United’s Luke Shaw hits back at weight critics

first_imgLuke Shaw revealed criticism surrounding his weight spurred him on to a summer of intense fitness work and confirmed he will be a Manchester United player when the season begins.The 23-year-old, whose fitness has been questioned throughout his Red Devils career, was mocked on social media for a picture taken from his holiday in Ibiza earlier this summer. ALTERED “Because I want to prove to people that I deserve a contract, I don’t want to sign one because of blah, blah, blah, whatever happens in the next couple of months, I want to earn a contract and I want a contract because I deserve a contract.“I don’t want a contract because maybe in the next year or so I’m a free agent, so maybe they might look to tie me down for that. But I want to sign a contract because I deserve it and the club want me to sign one.”When asked whether he will definitely be a United player when the window closes, he responded: “”Yes. I will be unless something changes dramatically and the manager comes to me and says I’m not in his plans.“I want to play football. I’m not just here to pick up my salary and do nothing. I’m young, I’m still 23 and still have a very long career, and I want to play games.” 3 3 However, after a rigorous pre-season fitness programme, the left-back posted a photo of himself in great shape on Instagram earlier this month and has now responded to his critics.Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, he said: “People think because of the way that I’m naturally built I’m bigger than I am. Of course people can say that I’m fat but I know my own body.“Of course I always look big because I’m bigger built and I’m sort of that, you could say, a Wayne Rooney type of body.“But of course I worked hard and not just for them [the critics], but I wanted to for myself get in the best shape and that wasn’t my best shape.“It was a good shape to start the season off the pre-season, but now I’m working harder than ever and first game of the season I want to look 10 times better than what I did in that picture.”Shaw has been Jose Mourinho’s first-choice left-back during pre-season and looks set to start United’s first Premier League game at home to Leicester on August 10.Mourinho has publicly complained about Shaw’s performances in the past and their relationship seemed strained at times last season, especially when he was pulled at half-time during their FA Cup quarter-final against Brighton.But the ex-Southampton man said his manager sent him a supportive message of motivation earlier this summer and ensured he is a big part of United’s future.“I spoke with the manager about a week after the holidays,” Shaw explains. “I was in Dubai and he texted me and we had a really good chat. It made me feel really confident about the upcoming season and that’s why I worked really hard. Tottenham v Brighton LIVE: talkSPORT commentary and team news for Boxing Day opener Shaw in pre-season action “It was a breath of fresh air when he texted me. I wasn’t expecting it. I was on my phone and I got the text. I spoke to him and it was really positive, really good.“He said that he knows I can be the best, but he sometimes feels frustrated that I’m not doing that.“That’s why it pushes me on more. He says these things because he knows I can do it. He knows I can be a top player. He knows I can play for Manchester United.”Shaw only has 12 months remaining on his current deal and the club are keen for him to sign an extension.However, the full-back believes he must earn a new deal, rather than sign out of convenience.He added: “I don’t think I would want to sign a contract right now. predicted How Chelsea could line up against Southampton – what system will Lampard play? NEW ERA highlights who plays? How Man United could line up for Newcastle clash – will Pogba start? smart causal 3 LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS Mourinho has criticised Shaw in the past How Arsenal could line up in Arteta’s first official game in charge – Ozil return? How Liverpool could line up at Leicester with midfielder set for lengthy absence Tottenham predicted XI to face Brighton with Mourinho expected to make big changes gameday Best clips, calls and talkSPORT moments of 2019, feat Hearn, McCoist and more possible xi Shaw in pre-season training Every current Premier League club’s best kit from the past decadelast_img read more

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