By UPI |

Wimbledon 2019: Serena Williams defeats Alison Riske in three sets

July 9 (UPI) -- Serena Williams edged fellow American Alison Riske in three sets Tuesday on Centre Court, advancing to the 12th Wimbledon semifinal of her career.

No. 11 seed Williams, who is searching for her eighth Wimbledon title and 24th career Grand Slam win, beat Riske 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 to reach the next round. Riske was making her first appearance in the quarterfinal at a major tournament.

"It was really satisfying. I wouldn't have won that match a couple weeks ago," Williams said. "Every match here has really helped me and it has really counted so I'm glad I was able to come through. [Riske] was playing so great. She beat so many great players and was really so close to taking the win today."

The 37-year-old faces either Johanna Konta or Barbora Strycova in the semifinal round.

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Williams won the first set after being down a break twice in the opener. She rallied both times and broke again in the final game.

Riske, who beat world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty in the fourth round, broke for a 5-4 lead in the second set. She held serve to even the match and forced a decisive third set. Williams had 10 unforced errors in the second.

Williams responded by winning three straight games in the final set, but lost her serve again. She broke for a 5-3 lead after Riske double-faulted on the fourth break point of the game, and then served out the win with an ace. Riske had five double faults in the third set.

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Williams had 16 chances to break, converting six times. Riske converted all five break points she generated.

In other action at Wimbledon, seventh-seeded Simona Halep advanced to the semifinals for the second time after beating Zhang Shuai 7-6 (4), 6-1.

Halep, who won the 2018 French Open, is seeking her second career Grand Slam victory. She hadn't reached the semis at Wimbledon since 2014.

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Halep will play either Karolina Muchova or Elina Svitolina in the next round.