By Ed Osmond | Reuters –
LONDON (Reuters) – Serena Williams produced another staggering display of serving to reach her seventh Wimbledon singles final with a 6-3 7-6 victory over Victoria Azarenka on Thursday.
The 30-year-old American, contesting a 21st grand slam semi-final, fired down a tournament record 24 aces to snuff out the challenge of the second-seeded Belarusian who clung on bravely to force a second-set tiebreak.
Azarenka saved one match point at 5-6 but Williams blasted down another ace to seal it 8-6, moving to the brink of her 14th grand slam singles title and first since overcoming career-threatening injuries and illness.
She crouched down and started roaring with delight before shaking hands with her opponent and jumping up and down on Centre Court in scenes of unbridled joy.
“I’ve been working so hard, I really wanted it,” the sixth-seeded Williams said in a courtside interview. “She was playing well and I got a little tight in the second set. I was looking too far in the future. I was just getting excited that I