Serena a smashing success after sweeping Wimbledon semifinal match

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She’s now one win away from a fifth Wimbledon championship, adding to those in 2002-03 and 2009-10, and 14th Grand Slam singles trophy overall — but first in two years. For her, that’s a long gap. Less than a week after her 2010 title, Williams cut her feet on glass at a restaurant, leading to a series of health problems, including being hospitalized for clots in her lungs, then the removal of a pocket of blood under the skin on her stomach.

Serena is blessed to be here,” Dad said.

The hardest part of Radwanska’s day probably came during the postmatch news conference, which was cut short after she was overcome by a coughing fit. She appeared to be OK.

Never before even a semifinalist at any Grand Slam tournament, Radwanska is the first Polish woman to make it to a major title match since Jadwiga Jedrzejowska lost three finals in the 1930s.

“I don’t really have anything to lose, so just going to try my best,” said Radwanska, the junior champion at Wimbledon in 2005, and the French Open in 2006.

Radwanska, whose younger sister Ursula is ranked 54th, will rise to No. 1 for the first time if she wins Saturday.

“If she will play like today,” Kerber said, “I think she has a good chance.”

Williams won their two previous encounters in straight sets, but they haven’t played each other since a quarterfinal four years ago at Wimbledon.

“She’s going to get every ball back,” Williams said, “so I’ve got to look forward to that.”

It’ll be a substantial contrast in styles: Williams‘ out-and-out power against Radwanska’s precision.

“I have every reason to believe she’ll win,” Richard Williams said about his daughter.

There’s no doubt who is favored, especially if Williams keeps serving the way she has been.

The 24 aces that eluded the considerable wing span of the 6-foot Azarenka broke the tournament record of 23 in a match that Williams herself set last week in a three-set, third-round victory over 25th-seeded Zheng Jie. That, in turn, eclipsed the old Wimbledon mark of 20 aces held by — guess who? — Williams.

She’s also up to 81 aces through six matches, eight shy of the tournament record she set in 2010.

“When she was little, I wanted her to throw like a boy. I bought her a football. And her serve is just throwing,” Richard Williams said. “That’s why the serve is so devastating.”

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