WIMBLEDON, England — Thanks to a bit of advice from her big sister and a bunch of aces from her big serve, Serena Williams is back in the Wimbledon semifinals.
With two more victories, Williams will be holding a Grand Slam trophy for the first time in two years.
The thud of racket-against-ball reverberating under the closed Centre Court roof, Williams smacked 13 aces at up to 120 mph and overpowered defending champion Petra Kvitova 6-3, 7-5 in the quarterfinals Tuesday at the All England Club.
Beforehand, Williams’ father and coach, Richard, asked his other title-winning daughter to relay some suggestions.
“I went and had Venus talk to her, because Venus can get (through) to Serena better than anyone in the world. So I told Venus, ‘I’m not going to talk to her. You talk to her.’ So Venus went and talked to her. When the match was over, I told her, ‘Venus: Good coaching! Good coaching!’ ” Dad said after snapping photos of Serena’s victory from his front-row perch in the guest box above a scoreboard.
“I wanted Serena to move her feet a little bit more and to not concentrate on what the girl’s doing, but concentrate exactly on what she wished to do,” he continued. “And that was the only message.”
Consider it delivered.
The 30-year-old Williams, bidding to become the first woman at least that age to win a major title since Martina Navratilova at Wimbledon in 1990, turned in her best performance of the tournament against her most difficult opponent. After being stretched to 9-7 and 7-5 third sets against less-accomplished women in the two previous rounds, the No. 6-seeded Williams was on top of things from the get-go against No. 4 Kvitova.
On Thursday, Williams will play No. 2 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, the reigning Australian Open champion, who defeated unseeded Tamira Paszek 6-3, 7-6 (4) under the roof at night to reach the Wimbledon semifinals for the second consecutive year.
The other semifinal will be No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland against No. 8 Angelique Kerber of Germany.