Wimbledon Day 5: Serena Williams Survives, Plays Sister Venus in Round 4

Serena Williams of the U.S.A. celebrates after winning her match against Heather Watson of Britain (R) at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London
REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

LONDON – HOLY. COW. World number one Serena Williams barely survives to advance to the fourth round of Wimbledon after she defeated Briton Heather Watson 6-2, 4-6, 7-5. She is one step closer to winning a calendar Grand Slam and her fourth Grand Slam in a row.

Next up for Serena: Her sister Venus!

How did Serena pull out the victory? Being Serena!

She dominated the first set, but spectators could tell Watson was not going to be an easy target. She fought against Serena and never gave up. All of a sudden, in the second set, Watson fought even harder and Serena slowly climbed into her own mind. Sloppy plays. Wide returns. Unforced errors galore.

The third set was no better. Watson broke Williams and looked as if she would bagel the world’s best player. She could taste it as she attempted to go 4-0 on Serena. But this is Serena Williams! At 40-love, Williams crawled back with her precision to force deuce. Her and Watson exchanged points for awhile until Williams escaped to win the game. Then she managed to win the next three games, but Watson stuck with her. Next thing Centre Court knew, Watson served for the match.

But again. This is Serena Williams. 5-5, Williams turn to serve. 6-5. Williams forced deuce. She grabbed the advantage. Watson answered back. Williams said no and took the one point lead on the next game. Watson faulted and faulted again. Challenged the fault, but it was OUT.

Williams won. Everyone left speechless, including Williams! She could not detail how she came back in the match.

“Uhm, I don’t know,” she said. “I honestly didn’t think I, one, was going to win. How I pulled through, I really don’t know. I just was like, listen, if I’m going to go lose, I’m going to lose trying to do the right things.”

The press asked Watson if she was proud despite the loss. The young player has high hopes for herself. No such luck.

“I mean, I was two points away from winning that match, so I’m pretty disappointed,” she claimed. “But, I mean, the atmosphere on that court was amazing. I think it really helped me and pushed me. I just wish I could have closed it out at the end.”

Serena plays sister Venus on Monday. She easily defeated Aleksandra Krunic in straight sets and looks almost flawless at this Wimbledon. Serena and Venus are very close. She told the press she would root for Venus in the next round.

“I mean, she’s been through so much,” she explained. “She’s had a wonderful story. She’s been so inspiring to me. You know, she’s just an incredible individual. She’s just so amazing. She’s been so inspiring to a lot of people with the same things that she goes through, too.”

American CoCo Vandeweghe joined Serena and Venus into the round of 16 with her victory over 22 seed Sam Stosur 6-2, 6-0. Victoria Azarenka also flew into the next round along with Maria Sharapova and Novak Djokovic. All of them won their matches with relative ease.

Another surprise at Wimbledon is the advancement of American Denis Kudla. The wild card defeated Santiago Giraldo to join his fellow countrymen into the round of 16.

John Isner is at it again. His match against US Open champion Marin Čilič was called due to darkness. They will resume on Saturday. Remember, he played the game’s longest match only a few years ago. It lasted over 11 hours.