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London 2012: Serena Williams soars into Tennis semis

Serena Williams advances to Olympic semifinals after defeating Wozniacki

AP, Thursday 2 Aug 2012
Serena Williams
Serena Williams of the U.S.(Photo: Reuters)
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To complement her booming serve and slingshot returns, Serena Williams tried a left-handed forehand Thursday at the Olympics.

She lost that rally but won most of the other points, beating former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark 6-0, 6-3 to reach the semifinals at Wimbledon.

Williams, seeking the first singles medal of her career, has lost only 13 games through four rounds. She'll face top-ranked Victoria Azarenka of Belarus on Friday for a berth in the final.

Playing on sun-splashed Court 1, Williams swept the first seven games against the No. 8-seeded Wozniacki. Williams kept one exchange going with a desperation, off-balance left-handed shot.

"I haven't practiced it in a couple of months," she said. "I wish I could have hit it better."

Otherwise, Williams stuck to the basics. She lost only nine points on her serve, never faced a break point and hit 30 winners to seven for Wozniacki.

"I felt a little off today, believe it or not," Williams said. "But I'm really, really hard to please."

Williams has won 11 consecutive matches this summer at the All England Club, including her fifth Wimbledon title a month ago.

Azarenka beat No. 7 Angelique Kerber of Germany 6-4, 7-5 under the Centre Court roof. Kerber eliminated Venus Williams on Wednesday, but Azarenka feasted on the left-hander's serve, winning more than half of those points and breaking six times.

British hopeful Andy Murray also won his quarterfinal, delighting a Court 1 crowd that featured Prince William and wife Kate. Murray, seeded No. 3, became the first men's semifinalist by beating No. 11 Nicolas Almagro of Spain, 6-4, 6-1.

Murray hit 15 aces to one for Almagro and never faced a break point. He had 29 winners and just seven unforced errors.

The Scotsman was runner-up to Roger Federer at Wimbledon last month. His opponent Friday will be the winner of the quarterfinal between No. 2 Novak Djokovic and No. 5 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Americans Bob and Mike Bryan advanced to doubles semifinals by edging Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram of Israel, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (10). Neither team managed a service break, and the Bryans sealed the victory on their fourth match point when Erlich double-faulted into the net.

The twins, who are top-seeded, won the bronze in 2008. Both are also entered in mixed doubles.

The United States was the only nation to still have an entry in all five events of singles and doubles.

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