LONDON • Nostalgic favourite Venus Williams, a five-time Wimbledon winner, yesterday moved a step closer to a final showdown with sister and defending champion Serena.
Venus reached her first Wimbledon semi-final in seven years after a 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 victory over Kazakhstan's world No. 96 Yaroslava Shvedova while Serena beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 6-4 in her quarter-final.
At 36, Venus is the oldest women's semi-finalist since Martina Navratilova in 1994.
The American veteran, seeded eighth, will face Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber next.
German fourth seed Kerber reached her second Wimbledon semi-final with a 7-5, 7-6 (7-2) win over Simona Halep, the fifth seed from Romania.
Serena, meanwhile, will face Elena Vesnina, who defeated Dominika Cibulkova 6-2, 6-2 to reach her first Grand Slam semi-final.
Venus, who won the last of her nine Grand Slam titles at Wimbledon in 2008, is back in the last four of a Grand Slam for the first time since the 2010 US Open.
Men's 4th rd: Tomas Berdych (Cze) bt Jiri Vesely (Cze) 4-6 6-3 7-6 (10-8) 6-7 (9-11) 6-3, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (Fra) bt Richard Gasquet (Fra) 4-2 ret, Andy Murray (Gbr) bt Nick Kyrgios (Aus) 7-5 6-1 6-4 .
Women's q-finals: Serena Williams (USA) bt Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (Rus) 6-4 6-4, Angelique Kerber (Ger) bt Simona Halep (Rom) 7-5 7-6 (7-2), Venus Williams (USA) bt Yaroslava Shvedova (Kaz) 7-6 (7-5) 6-2, Elena Vesnina (Rus) bt Dominika Cibulkova (Svk) 6-2 6-2.
Eight-time Wimbledon finalist Venus trails 28-year-old Kerber 2-3 in their five career meetings. The German won their only meeting on grass at the 2012 Olympics at Wimbledon.
"Oh wow, what a tough day on the court. It seemed she was going to win the tie-break but somehow I walked out with the set," Venus said of Shvedova.
"She was on fire, but when you can walk to the net as the winner that's the dream.
"I love playing the game. When you are winning matches, it makes it that much sweeter.
"You can't always have these big moments. I guess if you are Serena Williams it happens a lot, but for Venus Williams this is an awesome day."
The first-set tie-break was pivotal for Venus yesterday as she overturned a 2-5 deficit before Shvedova's game fell apart.
Kerber, meanwhile, gave credit to Halep for a tough match played.
"I think we are both really good returners. It's always tough to play against Simona. I won the last point and that's what counts," said the German left-hander.
Kerber now has 33 match wins this year, joint-best with Cibulkova.
"I have had a great year so far. I think I am playing my best tennis. Hopefully I can play a few more matches here," she said.
Kerber, who also made the semi-finals in 2012, came out on top in a big-hitting battle with Halep, a semi-finalist here in 2014.
The first set saw nine breaks of serve in 12 games with Kerber twice squandering the lead before Halep double-faulted on set point.
Kerber was 4-2 and 5-3 in front in the second before the tenacious Halep fought back to reach the tiebreak in a set which featured four more breaks of serve.
But Kerber dominated the tiebreak, getting to match point when Halep was bamboozled by a net cord before she sealed victory after taking advantage of a backhand error by her opponent.
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