Darragh Ó Sé gives Mayo the upper-hand, Serena into Wimbledon semis

Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Virat Kohli in action during’s India’s rain-affected World Cup semi-final against New Zealand. Photograph: Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP/Getty

Virat Kohli in action during’s India’s rain-affected World Cup semi-final against New Zealand. Photograph: Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP/Getty

The Super 8s get underway this weekend, with Sunday’s clash between Kerry and Mayo in Killarney the pick of the opening round of fixtures. And in his column this morning Darragh Ó Sé looks at the size of the challenge facing the Kingdom on home soil, with James Horan’s side champing at the bit following their impressive win over rivals Galway last time out. And he believes that a victory at Fitzgerald Stadium would give Mayo serious momentum going forward: “Are Mayo All-Ireland contenders? Hard to say for sure just yet, but you’d imagine so. They’re on the road long enough and have proved themselves enough times to give them the benefit of the doubt. . . Imagine the bounce Mayo will get coming out of Killarney with a win and then heading to Croke Park to play Meath the following Sunday. You couldn’t send away for it.” Ó Sé concedes that Kerry don’t yet have a defence to match that of their visitors, but what does he think of Peter Keane’s side’s chances? “I’m hoping is the best way I can describe it. For Kerry this is all duck or no dinner. This could all be over very quickly. Lose to Mayo and they go to Croke Park the following Sunday against a top-class Donegal team. We could feasibly be looking at a winter that starts on July 21st. That can’t really be allowed to happen.”

Serena Williams is into the Wimbledon semi-finals after she beat compatriot Alison Riske over three tough sets yesterday, winning 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 on Centre Court. Seven-time winner Williams showed the occasional signs of vulnerability as she was pushed all the way by her 29-year-old opponent, but, as is usually the case, she had enough to power into the last four, writes Johnny Watterson from London. Serena will play Barbora Strycova in the next round after the Czech player beat Johanna Konta 7-6 (5), 6-1 - despite the British number one racing into a 4-1 lead in the first set. In the other semi-final, Simona Halep will take on Elina Svitolina. Today it’s the men’s semi-finals, with Roger Federer taking on Kei Nishikori on Centre Court following Novak Djokovic’s clash with David Goffin. The winner of that match will face either Guido Pella or Roberto Bautista Agut in the semis, with Rafael Nadal up against the USA’s Sam Querrey.

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