Serena Williams lays down big marker with Julia Goerges win
Williams cruises through in straight sets in repeat of last year’s Wimbledon semi-final
Serena Williams celebrates her straight sets victory over Germany’s Julia Goerges. Photograph: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA
Serena Williams laid down a marker in her bid for an eighth Wimbledon title with a straight-sets win over the dangerous Julia Goerges.
In a repeat of last year’s semi-final, Williams was too strong for the German 18th seed and triumphed 6-3 6-4.
Maybe hitting with Andy Murray, her mixed doubles partner, on Friday has had a positive effect as the American was moving and serving much better than in her first two matches.
Williams, seeded 11, secured a break for 4-2 in the first set and despite some concerted Goerges pressure she served it out.
Goerges is no slouch with the ball in her hand either but the relentless Williams returns forced another break, at the fourth attempt, for 3-2 in the second.
Williams had not dropped a set in her four previous encounters with Goerges and she maintained that record to demonstrate that, at 37, she remains a major contender for the title.
“I just need to keep it up,” said Williams, recently back from a knee injury.
“Each match for me really counts. I haven’t had a tremendous amount. It’s just about keeping going, doing what I’m doing in practice hopefully.
“I play pretty good when I’m calm, but also super intense. It’s a hard balance to find because sometimes when I’m too calm, I don’t have enough energy. I’m still trying to find that balance.”
Later Johanna Konta battled back from a set down to sink Sloane Stephens and reach the last 16 at Wimbledon.
The British number one appeared on the brink of defeat with former US Open champion Stephens, seeded nine, dictating the match and errors creeping into Konta’s game.
But Konta managed to stop the bleeding and haul herself level before a composed final set wrapped up a 3-6 6-4 6-1 victory and extended her 100 per cent record against Stephens to four matches.
Meanwhile Harriet Dart’s fine Wimbledon run ended with a bruising defeat by world number one Ashleigh Barty in the third round.
It was a singles debut on Centre Court for both women but the gulf was all too clear as Barty wrapped up a 6-1 6-1 victory in just 53 minutes to reach the fourth round for the first time with a 15th consecutive win.
The considerable consolation for Dart is that by reaching the third round she had far exceeded expectations and her ranking will rise from its current 182 into the top 140.