LONDON: American superstar Serena Williams is tantalisingly near equalling Margaret courtroom’s file haul of 24 Grand Slam titles however it’s far from a certainty given her shaky presentations up to now at Wimbledon.

The 37-year-vintage seven-time champion needed to draw on all her energy — physical and mental — to get past unseeded compatriot Alison Riske within the ultimate eight and faces every other grass court loving opponent in Barbora Strycova in Thursday’s semi-finals.

The 33-year-vintage Czech veteran — the oldest participant to play in a female’s Wimbledon semi-final for the first time — has performed a few first rate tennis and says she will be able to step onto Centre courtroom “with none worry”.

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the opposite semi-very last pits two seeds in opposition to every different, 7th seed and previous world number one Simona Halep against eighth seeded Ukrainian Elina Svitolina

It says lots approximately the turbulence of girls’s tennis that Williams is making her twelfth semi-very last look while of the alternative three most effective Halep has long past this a ways earlier than, and that became again in 2014.

Williams is the colossus that also bestrides women’s tennis, but there are chinks in her armour as were uncovered both at Wimbledon and in her ultimate Grand Slam finals.

Outplayed with the aid of Angelique Kerber in remaining 12 months’s Wimbledon final after which a dazzling meltdown within the US Open defeat with the aid of Naomi Osaka offers Strycova true desire of an upset.

no longer that the diminutive Czech would require any as her bubbly character oozes optimism and her form guide is as good as any of the semi-finalists having ousted 4 seeds on her way to the semi-final.

Williams’s clay court docket marketing campaign turned into stricken by a knee injury however has amassed invaluable more recreation time through gambling the combined doubles with every other former international number one, Andy Murray.

“It’s been a absolutely, clearly lengthy 12 months for me already, and hard yr, due to the fact I’m generally now not generally injured.

“I don’t realize in which i'm. I do realize I experience properly.”

however, she has nonetheless looked inclined and Strycova’s speed round the court docket and array of photographs pays dividends if she reproduces the leaden-footed performance she placed up in opposition to Riske.

Williams’s train Patrick Mouratoglou stated courtroom’s record is why his star got here returned after giving delivery and more than one injury troubles.

“That’s why she got here back to gambling tennis after having a infant and such a lot of clinical headaches,” he stated.

“The attempt she’s installed, I’ve never visible some thing like this.

“you haven't any idea how tough she worked to return back to that level, and she or he got here back for that, so it'll in all likelihood imply plenty if she makes it.”

Strycova for her element described Williams as a high-quality champion and superb athlete but if that indicated she changed into intimidated  suppose once more.

“I don’t have worry,”

“I don’t have such energy like Serena, however i have different guns.

“i'm able to try to use them as a good deal as i will. I'm able to revel in.

“i've without a doubt at this point nothing to lose.”

Her teach Lukas Dlouhy says Strycova has never given up desire of the large day in the end arriving in what's her 53rd Grand Slam.

“She always attempted difficult, she was constantly operating at 100 percent, she never stop or did anything wrong,” said Dlouhy.

Halep have to  be triumphant inside the other conflict, now not best because of her more enjoy and having received a  Slam in final 12 months’s French Open, however she says she has at ultimate taken to grass after not being first-rate perfect to it when she misplaced to Eugenie Bouchard inside the 2014 semi-very last.

Halep showed this in impressing in her previous suits coping with the partisan crowd in beating Coco Gauff and then coming back from four-1 down and wreck points within the first set against Zhang Shuai in her region-very last.

“I’m a exceptional man or woman,” said the 27-yr-vintage Romanian.

“the whole thing changed. I've loads of revel in now. I’m more assured.

“i love grass. It’s first time after I say that.”