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Published: 16:09 | 5/7/16

Williams books semi-final berth


Former champion Venus Williams has booked her place in the semi-finals of Wimbledon for the first time since 2009.

The five-time champion defeated Yaroslava Shvedova 7-6 6-3 to set-up a semi-final meeting with German fourth seed Angelique Kerber, who beat Romania's Simona Halep 7-5 7-6 (7-2).

There was little to separate the two players in the opening set but it was Shvedova who crumbled first in the tie-break. Leading 5-2, the Kazakh player was unable to see it out and Williams won five points on the bounce to claim the opening set.

The momentum was clearly with the American and she took full advantage of the amount of errors Shvedova made to take the second set and book her place in the semi-final for the first time since 2009.

"I love playing the game. When you're winning matches it makes it that much sweeter," Williams told BBC Sport.

"What a tough day on the court," Williams added. "The tie-breaker, it felt like she would win. I felt like my opponent was on fire.

"I felt like the crowd enjoyed all the great points. She got them involved in the last game. We gave them good tennis today."

Williams will have to overcome Kerber if she is to reach Saturday's final.

Kerver readched the quarter-finals without dropping a set and she maintained her fine run with at 7-5 7-6 defeat of Halep.

In a tight battle, both players struggled to hold serve in the opening set with eight successive breaks. Halep managed to hold her serve to deny Kerber the first set but she was unable to force the tie-break as her opponent broke to clinch it.

Kerber served for the match at 5-3 in the second only for Halep to break before holding serve and this time a tie-break was needed to split the players.

It was Kerber who started the tie-break the brighter and she maintained her advantage throughout to end Halep's hopes of reaching the last four.

"I think we both played a really good match. I'm really happy that I won it because it was really close." Kerber said.

"I'm feeling really good. I'm just enjoying every day here and I'm so happy to be in the semis. I think I'm playing my best tennis right now and I hope I can play a few more matches here."

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