Serena wins mums battle as history beckons

SERENA Williams is hurtling towards history with startling speed, careering into Wimbledon’s quarter-final with trademark authority.

Bidding to equal Margaret Court’s longstanding record of 24 majors, the American powered past Russian qualifier — and fellow tennis mother — Evgeniya Rodina 6-2 6-2.

“I knew we (are) both (mothers) and that’s cool. It shows you can be a working mum,” she said.

“I don’t know if that’s happened before at Wimbledon, on centre court especially.

“It’s great to be back in the quarter-finals but I’m a perfectionist and I always find something to work on.

“The scoreline was fine, but I’m always looking to improve.”

Boosting her Wimbledon record to 90-10, Williams will next face Italian Camila Giorgi, who swept into the last eight with a 6-3 6-4 success over giant-killing Russian Ekaterina Makarova.

Contesting just her second grand slam since giving birth to daughter Alexis Olympia in September, Williams is chasing an eighth Wimbledon title.

Only Martina Navratilova (nine) has more.

The champion here in 2002-3, 2009-10, 2012, 2015-16, Williams missed last year’s tournament because of pregnancy.

Ranked No 181 in the world, the American was promoted into the seedings because of her extraordinary grass court record.

The decision is more than justified with her passage into the last eight, where she is now an overwhelming favourite to lift the title.

Apart from Angelique Kerber no other player left in contention has contested a Wimbledon decider.

If the former world No 1 handles Giorgi, she will play either Kiki Bertens or Julia Goerges for a place in Saturday’s final.

Dutchwoman Bertens downed Czech seventh seed Karolina Pliskova 6-3 7-6 (7-1).

Germany’s Goerges eliminated Croat Donna Vekic 6-3 6-2.

Williams has played a total of eight matches against Giorgi, Bertens and Goerges — and won all of them.

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