London: Serena Williams survived a scare to book a Wimbledon semi-final showdown with old rival Maria Sharapova as the World No 1 battled back to defeat Victoria Azarenka 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 yesterday.
Maria Sharapova celebrates after her win yesterday. PIC/Getty Images
Williams was in danger of a shock quarter-final exit after a slow start on Centre Court, but the five-time Wimbledon champion eventually battered 23rd seed Azarenka into submission in two hours and three minutes with a barrage of 43 winners and 14 aces.
The 33-year-old American, aiming to win her fourth successive Grand Slam title and 21st in total, will face World No 4 Sharapova tomorrow holding a 17-2 lead in their head to head record.
Sharapova battled into her first Wimbledon semi-final since 2011 with a 6-3, 6-7 (3/7), 6-2 victory over unseeded Coco Vandeweghe yesterday.
Meanwhile, Agnieszka Radwanska set up a Wimbledon semi-final clash with Garbine Muguruza after the 13th seed defeated Madison Keys 7-6 (7/3), 3-6, 6-3 yesterday.
Muguruza reached her first Wimbledon semi-final on Tuesday with a 7-5, 6-3 win over Timea Bacsinszky.
Played - 19
Serena wins 17. Sharapova - 2
Serena - 1. Sharapova - 4
Serena - 33. Sharapova - 28
Serena - 20. Sharapova - 5
Serena - 5. Sharapova - 1