Serena faces another tennis comeback queen

Darren Walton
German Julia Goerges has made an incredible run to face Serene Williams in the Wimbledon semi-final

Serena Williams is the undoubted comeback queen of tennis, but her Wimbledon semi-final opponent is enjoying quite the revival herself.

After years in the doldrums, humble German Julia Goerges suddenly stands between Williams and a 30th grand slam final after embarking on a career run through a major draw.

Goerges arrived at The All England Club last week having won just five matches in 10 previous Wimbledon campaigns - and none in five years.

"It was almost three years ago when I decided to make a change in my team," Goerges said when explaining her resurgence.

"I went completely a new way. I took a new physio, a new coach. I changed my residence. I went from the north to the south of Germany really to, yeah, start everything from zero.

"I thought there is much more potential in my game and in myself to reach my goals I want to achieve, to become the best player I can be with my abilities I'm having.

"This work we are putting in every day, you can't expect it happening in three months, and it's just there. It needs a lot of time and a lot of work.

"I think it's everything worth it for the season I'm playing now, that I'm sitting here right now, I'm able to play on Thursday semi-final against Serena Williams.

"That's something what a player is dreaming of.

"It's nice to see that it get paid off for the great work my team is putting in every single day for me."

The 29-year-old was so disbelieving of her foray to the final four that she even apologised to Kiki Bertens after fighting back from a set down to beat her good friend in the quarter-finals.

"I'm like, 'You don't have to be sorry. I'm really happy for you. You really deserved this. Keep on going, you can do this'. She will do pretty good," the vanquished Dutchwoman said.

"Of course, it's the first time for her in the semis. It's going to be a really big match. I think she's ready for a big fight."

The tournament's 13th seed, after hitting a career-high of No.10 in the world in February, Goerges has lost all three previous match-ups with Williams, most recently in straight sets at last month's French Open on clay.

"That was four or five weeks ago," said Williams, wary of the new grand slam force as she herself chases a record-equalling 24th career major and eighth Wimbledon crown.

"That doesn't matter. This is a whole new match, it's a new surface, it's everything. We're starting from zero."

Goerges is taking the same approach, respectful but not fearful of the former world No.1.

"Obviously she has won so many titles here, not only here, a lot of grand slams beside Wimbledon," Goerges said.

"It's a great opportunity for me to meet her at that stage. It's an honour to share the court with her.

"But I will sort out some tactics with my team tomorrow and we'll be ready."

Thursday's other women's semi-final features another German - 11th seed, two-times grand slam champion and 2016 Wimbledon finalist Angelique Kerber - against Latvian 12th seed Jelena Ostapenko, last year's French Open winner.


12-Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) v 11-Angelique Kerber (GER)

13-Julia Goerges (GER) v 25-Serena Williams (USA)