Sharp Serena improves with second win

Serena Williams might but win a title in her comeback occasion.

The American star moved into the semi-finals of the ladies’s doubles on the Eastbourne International by partnering Ons Jabeur to a 6-2 6-4 win over Shuko Aoyama and Chan Hao-ching on Wednesday.

And, forward of enjoying within the singles at Wimbledon subsequent week, there have been indicators that the 40-year-old Williams is regaining some sharpness after almost a 12 months out.

Like the back-to-back pick-up photographs off her toes early within the first set. Like the three straight aces on break factors within the second recreation of the second set.

Indeed, Williams’ serve – the most important the ladies’s recreation has ever seen – was more and more spectacular when below the pump, and it was the 23-time grand slam singles champion who served out the match.

On the 5 break factors she confronted, she despatched down 4 aces and one unreturnable serve.

Overall, her efficiency was extra polished than Tuesday’s, when Williams and Jabeur received a tiebreaker to advance within the grass-court event on England’s south coast.

Williams was eager to deflect any reward towards her companion.

“I think we played together much better today,” she stated, “although I think we played really good together yesterday, too.

“But Ons actually helped me out at this time. She was enjoying so good. I used to be simply taking a look at her, like ‘Wow, that is nice’.”

Jabeur still appears star-struck alongside Williams.

“I’m getting used to this, actually,” the Tunisian player said, laughing.

Then, she turned to Williams and said: “Do you need to play US Open?”

In the semi-finals, Williams and Jabeur will face Magda Linette and Aleksandra Krunic, who dispatched the second-seeded pair of Gabriela Dabrowski and Giuliana Olmos 6-1 6-3.

In the women’s singles, Beatriz Haddad Maia stayed on course for a third grass-court title in three weeks by ending the hopes of British wildcard Jodie Burrage 6-1 6-2 in the second round.

Jelena Ostapenko continued the defence of her title by also advancing to the quarter-finals after Madison Keys retired, having lost the first set 6-3.

Other players into the last eight were two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and Camila Giorgi.

Meanwhile in the Bad Homburg tournament, champion Angelique Kerber maintained her perfect record to reach the quarter-finals with a win over Italy’s Lucia Bronzetti.

The 2018 Wimbledon champion won 6-2 6-3 and is still unbeaten in the second edition of the tournament, with seven wins.

On Thursday, she will meet Alize Cornet from France in the quarter-finals.

Canada’s former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu will meet top seed Daria Kasatkina in the quarter-finals after a 6-4 6-4 win over Briton Katie Swan.

Fourth seed Simona Halep additionally made the final eight with 6-0 6-3 victory over Tamara Zidansek and can meet Amanda Anisimova, who beat Ann Li 6-0 6-2.

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