2012 OLYMPICS | Serena Williams advances to Olympic semifinals
AP Sports Writer
WIMBLEDON, England (AP) – To complement her booming serve and slingshot returns, Serena Williams tried a left-handed forehand Thursday at the Olympics.
She lost that rally but won most of the other points, beating former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark 6-0, 6-3 to reach the semifinals at Wimbledon.
Williams, seeking the first singles medal of her career, has lost only 13 games through four rounds. She’ll face top-ranked Victoria Azarenka of Belarus on Friday for a berth in the final.
Playing on sun-splashed Court 1, Williams swept the first seven games against the No. 8-seeded Wozniacki. Williams kept one exchange going with a desperation, off-balance left-handed shot.
“I haven’t practiced it in a couple of months,” she said. “I wish I could have hit it better.”
Otherwise, Williams stuck to the basics. She lost only nine points on her serve, never faced a break point and hit 30 winners to seven for Wozniacki.
“I felt a little off today, believe it or not,” Williams said. “But I’m really, really hard to please.”
Williams has won 11 consecutive matches this summer at the All England Club, including her fifth Wimbledon title a month ago.
Azarenka beat No. 7 Angelique Kerber of Germany 6-4, 7-5 under the Centre Court roof. Kerber eliminated Venus Williams on Wednesday, but Azarenka feasted on the left-hander’s serve, winning more than half of those points and breaking six times.
No. 2-seeded Novak Djokovic advanced by beating No. 5 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-1, 7-5. Djokovic’s opponent in the semifinals will be British hopeful Andy Murray, who delighted a crowd that included Prince William and wife Kate by beating No. 11 Nicolas Almagro of Spain, 6-4, 6-1.
Murray, who is seeded No. 3, was runner-up to Roger Federer at Wimbledon last month. Djokovic won Wimbledon in 2011 and was a bronze medalist in Beijing in 2008.
Americans Bob and Mike Bryan advanced to doubles semifinals by edging Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram of Israel, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (10). Neither team managed a service break, and the Bryans sealed the victory on their fourth match point when Erlich double-faulted into the net.
The twins, who are top-seeded, won the bronze in 2008. Both are also entered in mixed doubles.
The United States was the only nation to still have an entry in all five events of singles and doubles.
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Athletes from across the globe will make their way into the National Stadium in Beijing, China, next month for the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics.