Serena Williams is two steps away from winning her seventh Wimbledon title, but Elena Vesnina stands in her way in the semifinals, which is set for Thursday. The defending champion will meet her sister, Venus Williams, if the two American stars win their respective last four matches, in the final of the third Grand Slam of the year.
The top seed cannot afford to think too far ahead, though. Serena has not quite been at her absolute best in this Wimbledon, even if she has always found a way to win. The closest Serena came to losing was against fellow American Christina McHale, who took a set off her.
But then, it is Serena, who we are talking about. Despite going a set down, she roared back with some amazing play to defeat McHale. That match against her fellow countrywoman proved to be perfect warning for Serena, who has stepped up a level since then, brushing aside Annika Beck, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to reach the semis.
On paper, this matchup between Serena and Vesnina seems to be a David vs Goliath affair, but the American cannot take her opponent for granted. She is aware of the quality player that Vesnina is on the grass courts, and feels ready for the match.
"She has a really good grass court game, I think. She has a really good serve. I notice that she always works on things and she always improves her game. She's also very aggressive. She comes to the net. I know her game really, really well. It's good to play someone's game that you know. I think, yeah, I'll be ready for it," Wimbledon's official website quoted Serena as saying.
Though Vesnina may be a doubles specialist, and reached her maiden Grand Slam singles semifinals, the Russian has the ammunition to stun the top seed. She has an all-round game, as she uses power from the baseline, and is also strong at the net. With Vesnina having experience in the doubles circuit, she will be keen to make use of the angles on the court to her advantage.
It is such skills, which has helped the Russian beat some seeded players, including Dominika Cibulkova in the quarterfinals. Like Serena, Vesnina has only dropped a single set, so the Russian will not be short of confidence. And also, the unseeded player can play pressure-free tennis as she is considered an underdog in this semifinal.
Where to watch live
Serena Williams vs Elena Vesnina is set to begin at 1 p.m. local time (5.30 p.m. IST, 8 a.m. ET) start. Below is the TV and live streaming information.
UK: TV: BBC Two and BBC One. Live Streaming: BBC iPlayer.
France and Middle East: TV: Bein Sports. Live Streaming: Bein Sports Connect.
Australia: TV: Fox Sports. Live Streaming: Foxtel.
USA: TV: ESPN. Live streaming: Watch ESPN.
Canada: TV: CTV and TSN. Live Streaming: TSN TV.
Asia: TV: Fox Sports Asia. Live Streaming: Fox Sports Play Asia.
China: TV: Beijing TV, LeTV Sports, Jiangsu TV.
Europe:TV: EuroSport. Live Streaming: EuroSport Player.