Wed, Jul 11, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Serena to rivals: ‘A lot to improve on’

NO DROPPED SETS:‘This is only my fourth tournament back,’ said Serena Williams, who demolished Evgeniya Rodina 6-2, 6-2. ‘There’s so much farther I want to go’

AFP, LONDON

Serena Williams of the US returns to Evgeniya Rodina of Russia during their Wimbledon fourth-round match in London on Monday.

Photo: EPA

Serena Williams has warned her Wimbledon rivals that she is nowhere near her best despite powering into the quarter-finals without dropping a set.

Williams is chasing an eighth Wimbledon crown and the American star on Monday showed why she is the title favorite with a 6-2, 6-2 demolition of Evgeniya Rodina in the fourth round.

In her 13th Wimbledon quarter-final, Williams was yesterday to face Italian world No. 52 Camila Giorgi.

The path to the title appears wide open for the 36-year-old after every female top seed crashed out before the last eight for the first time in Wimbledon history.

Garbine Muguruza, Maria Sharapova, Simona Halep, Petra Kvitova, Venus Williams, Caroline Wozniacki and Sloane Stephens have all been eliminated.

The carnage at the top leaves 11th seed Angelique Kerber — beaten by Serena Williams in the 2016 Wimbledon final — as the highest ranked player left.

Serena Williams is not complaining about the high number of shocking results, but she could not resist a jab at the Wimbledon organizers, who only seeded her 25th despite her record.

“I faced a thousand and three seeds in my life, so I’m okay,” she said. “Things happen. On both sides, men’s and women’s, there’s been a tremendous amount of upsets.”

“I don’t think this has happened to this extreme,” she added. “But also, I’ve never been ranked where I am when this has happened before, so usually I’m one of those few seeds left that’s still fighting and still in the tournament. Now that I’m not, it kind of happened.”

It is not as if Serena Williams needs much encouragement to dominate at Wimbledon, where she has already reached nine finals.

Having shaken off the rust following her lengthy layoff after the birth of her daughter, Olympia, in September last year, she is rounding nicely into form for the business end of the tournament.

Ominously for the other seven women left in the draw, the 23-time Grand Slam champion, who missed Wimbledon last year, but won the title on her previous two visits, insists there is plenty to improve on.

“There’s a lot to improve on. This is only my fourth tournament back,” said Serena Williams, who has won all three of her previous meetings with Giorgi. “For me, there’s so much farther I want to go to get back to where I was, and hopefully go beyond that.”

“There are a lot of things that — I don’t know if you can tell — I really need to work on,” she added.

In the third round of the women’s doubles, Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic fell to a 6-4, 6-3 defeat to Czech third seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova.

It was a better day for fellow Taiwanese Chan Hao-ching and Nikola Mektic of Croatia in the second round of the mixed doubles after the fifth seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Raluca Olaru of Romania and Fabrice Martin of France.

The victory set up a third-round clash against ninth seeds Michael Venus of New Zealand and Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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