Kerber back in spotlight but tough challenge awaits
ANGELIQUE Kerber and Jelena Ostapenko have charged into a Wimbledon semi-final showdown in vastly contrasting styles.
In a tournament shorn of its top 10 seeds, No 11 Kerber is the highest-ranked survivor after taking seven match points to subdue Russia's Daria Kasatkina 6-3 7-5.
Seeded 12th, Ostapenko held a decisive edge on feisty Dominika Cibulkova to post a 7-5 6-4 triumph in breezy conditions.
The pair, who own three majors in total, will clash for the first time on Thursday (AEST).
French Open champion Ostapenko, 21, was clearly the more adventurous player in her encounter with unseeded Cibulkova, pumping 33 winners and 28 unforced errors.
The feisty baseliner required treatment mid-match for a self-inflicted leg wound.
"I actually hit myself with my hand so strong so I felt my leg throughout the whole match," the Latvian grinned after reaching her first All England Club semi.
Kerber, 30, was elated to survive Kasatkina to advance to her third semi-final at Wimbledon.
Beaten in the 2016 final by Serena Williams, Kerber said: "I was expecting a very tough and close match against Daria.
"We've had many battles in the past. We both played on a very high level at the end.
"It's great to be back in the semis."
A nerveless 3-6 6-3 6-4 victory over Italian Camila Giorgi propelled Williams into 35th major semi-final, where she will face German Julia Goerges.
With 23 singles majors, including seven at Wimbledon, Williams needs two more victories to match Australian great Maragaret Court's haul of 24.
Court won the last of her slam titles at the 1973 US Open.
If Williams, 36, adds her to bulging collection of silverware, she will become the first mother to triumph at Wimbledon since Evonne Goolagong in 1980.
Goerges overcame a rocky start to eclipse Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens 3-6 7-5 6-1.