As Serena Williams prepares for her 35th Grand Slam semi-final, the American star says a fear of failure is driving her bid for an eighth Wimbledon title.

Williams avoided a major upset on Tuesday as the former world number one battled back to beat unseeded Camila Giorgi 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a Centre Court thriller.

The 36-year-old’s quarter-final escape act set up a last four showdown with German 13th seed Julia Goerges on Thursday.

‘It’s been a while’

Serena hasn’t won a Grand Slam since the birth of daughter Olympia in September and her last trophy came at the 2017 Australian Open.

“You’re only as good as your last win. It’s been a while since I’ve won a championship,” Williams said.

But the 23-time major winner is heavily favoured to end her wait this week, fuelled by the thought of suffering the painful sting left by her rare defeats.

“I hate losing. I mean, that’s no secret. But I feel like every time I lose, I get better,” she said.

“It’s important for me to have the losses. Just the fewer the better for me!”

Having won the title in the previous two years she played Wimbledon in 2015 and 2016, Williams, who missed last year’s tournament due to her pregnancy, has extended her winning streak at the All England Club to 19 matches.

In contrast, Goerges is in the Wimbledon semi-finals for the first time.

Yet Goerges insists she can cause an massive upset against Williams.

Angelique Kerber, the German 11th seed, faces former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in the other semi-final.

Ostapenko struggled with the pressure of defending her maiden Grand Slam title, losing in the first round of the recent French Open.

But that lifted a weight off her shoulders at the All England Club, where she has become the first Latvian to make a Wimbledon semi-final.

“At the French Open a couple weeks ago I had so much pressure. It’s now all gone,” Ostapenko said.

“I’m just enjoying the moment. It’s so much fun.”AFP

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