Serena Williams: I never give up

Updated: 11 September, 2020 07:42 IST | AFP | New York

Serena Williams vows to keep fighting after coming back from a set down to beat Tsvetana Pironkova and enter US Open semis

USA's Serena Williams reacts after winning a point against Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova in the US Open quarter-finals on Wednesday. Pic /PTI
USA's Serena Williams reacts after winning a point against Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova in the US Open quarter-finals on Wednesday. Pic /PTI

Serena Williams came from a set down to beat fellow mother Tsvetana Pironkova and reach the semi-finals of the US Open on Wednesday. The American third seed overcame the unseeded Bulgarian 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in 2hr 12min inside Arthur Ashe Stadium. Williams will play former World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka for a place in Saturday's final. Williams, 38, is chasing a 24th singles Grand Slam title that would equal Margaret Court's record. But a sluggish start to the match almost saw her hopes dashed as a more energetic Pironkova broke Williams in game five to take an early lead. "I'm happy to be standing here talking to you because at one point I think I was pretty close to not being here," Williams told an on-court interviewer.

"I keep fighting and that's one thing that I'm super excited about. I never give up and you know I just gotta keep going," she added. Williams blamed her early struggles on tiredness. "I was feeling a little in my legs and for whatever reason an hour in I get more energy so I guess that's a good thing," said Williams. "In the beginning, I was a little fatigued for whatever reason. Obviously I can't do that if I want to keep winning. So I'm going to try to figure that out," she added.

It has been more than three years since Williams won her 23rd Grand Slam title at the 2017 Australian Open—when she was already pregnant with daughter Olympia. Williams has come close since, reaching four major finals only to come away empty handed. Pironkova, herself a mother, only returned to tennis this year following a three-year absence from the circuit. "Whenever you can birth a baby honestly you can do anything and I think we saw that with Tsvetana today. She played unbelievable," said Williams.

Pironkova's last tournament appearance before this year's US Open had been the 2017 Wimbledon championships when she exited in the second round. She gave birth to her son during her break from tennis.

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First Published: 11 September, 2020 07:09 IST

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