Wimbledon: Serena Williams ousts defending champion Petra Kvitova
American Serena Williams blasted her way into the Wimbledon semifinals at the expense of defending champion Petra Kvitova, whom she dismissed 6-3, 7-5.
The Washington Post
WIMBLEDON, England — It was a resilient trio of Americans that took the courts at Wimbledon on Tuesday, three players who have battled through recent illness and injury that might have ended the careers of some pros.
In the end, only Serena Williams was left standing, having blasted her way into the semifinals at the expense of defending champion Petra Kvitova, whom she dismissed 6-3, 7-5 in 84 minutes.
Meanwhile, U.S. men Mardy Fish and Brian Baker were eliminated in the fourth round.
The 10th-seeded Fish, who earlier this year underwent a medical procedure to fix an irregular heartbeat, fell to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4, 6-4 in a match halted by rain the previous day.
"He's a lot of fun to watch when you're not playing him," the 30-year-old Fish said of Tsonga, who ousted six-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer from the tournament last year.
Qualifier Baker, 27, surpassed most expectations by getting through the first three rounds.
Among the country's heralded talents as a teen, Baker underwent five surgeries between November 2005 and July 2011 (three on his hips, one for a hernia and one on his right elbow). It took him about three years to recover from elbow surgery, but he wasn't ready to quit, determined to slog his way back to a credible career.
After starting the season ranked 458th in the world, he will be ranked inside the top 100 after his surprising Wimbledon showing, which ended with a 6-1, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 defeat to No. 27 Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany.
"Basically since I've been coming back, it has been about the health," Baker said. "Now it's about the game. So that's a good thing."
In her quarterfinal against the fourth-seeded Kvitova, Williams was so powerful and precise it was easy to forget she had been taken to a Los Angeles hospital in March 2011 with a pulmonary embolism.
The 30-year-old blasted 13 aces past Kvitova, never lost her serve and finished with 27 winners, compared with 10 unforced errors.
Kvitova, 22, looked flat-footed. By the time the Czech Republic player ramped up her aggression, stepping in closer to receive Williams' serve, which was as fast as 120 mph, Williams was firmly in charge.
No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland advanced to the semifinals by outlasting Maria Kirilenko of Russia 7-5, 4-6, 7-5 in a match halted multiple times by rain before being relocated to Centre Court.
• In Thursday's semifinals, No. 6 Williams will play No. 2 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus and Radwanska will face No. 8 Angelique Kerber of Germany.
• Scotland's Andy Murray, seeded fourth, beat No. 16 Marin Cilic of Croatia 7-5, 6-2, 6-3 in a rain-interrupted match to reach the men's quarterfinals.