Wimbledon 2018: Angelique Kerber to face Jelena Ostapenko in semi-finals
|Wimbledon 2018 on the BBC|
|Venue: All England Club, Wimbledon Dates: 2-15 July|
|Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button, Connected TVs and the BBC Sport website and app; Live Radio 5 live and 5 live sports extra commentary; Text commentary online.|
Eleventh seed Angelique Kerber reached the Wimbledon semi-finals with a 6-3 7-5 win over Russia's Daria Kasatkina.
Two-time Grand Slam winner Kerber, the highest-ranked seed left in the women's competition, dominated the first set as Kasatkina struggled with nerves.
Fourteenth seed Kasatkina, 21, grew in confidence but Kerber came through to win on her seventh match point.
The German, 30, will face Latvian 12th seed Jelena Ostapenko on Thursday after she beat Dominika Cibulkova 7-5 6-4.
In the other half of the draw, Serena Williams is through to her 11th Wimbledon semi-final after beating Camila Giorgi in three sets and she will face Julia Gorges, who beat Kiki Bertens 3-6 7-5 6-1 to reach her first Grand Slam semi-final.
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After taking the first set, Kerber broke to go 3-1 up in the second before Kasatkina levelled for 3-3 only for another double fault to put the German back in control.
The Russian, who thrilled the crowd with some superb returns and passing shots, broke back again for 4-4 but her opponent replied immediately.
With Kerber serving for a place in the last four, Kasatkina earned two break points with a forehand and levelled the scores before again failing to hold her serve.
Kasatkina then saved five match points before surviving yet another thanks to Hawk-Eye, with Kerber's lob landing just beyond the baseline.
The 2016 Wimbledon runner-up finally secured her place in the semis when Kasatkina's return found the net.
"Of course, it's not so easy because you feel your nerves," said Kerber. "You feel you get a little bit tight, especially if you have your third or fourth match point.
"We both played at a really high level, starting from the first point. The last game showed how good we both played and how she was fighting until the end."
Ostapenko, last year's French Open champion, already has a good pedigree on grass and has reached this year's semi-final without dropping a set.
She won the junior title in 2014 and was the only Wimbledon quarter-finalist from last year to reach the last eight this year.
The Latvian struck 32 winners to just six from her opponent and Cibulkova, who had won both of their previous meetings, could do nothing but watch the ball fly past her and hope her opponent would start to miss.
Ostapenko did that enough in the second set to keep it competitive but Cibulkova could not find a way to disrupt her rhythm and the Latvian clinched victory with a final backhand winner.
"At the French Open a couple weeks ago I had so much pressure. It's now all gone. I'm just enjoying the moment," said Ostapenko.
"You play on a big court, in a great place, on grass, which is one of my favourite surfaces. It's just so much fun."
Gorges, who was making her 42nd Grand Slam appearance, had suffered five successive opening-round defeats at the All England Club before this year.
It is the first time two German women have made the semi-finals of a Grand Slam since Steffi Graf and Anke Huber at the 1993 French Open.
Bertens, who was contemplating retirement last year after losing her enthusiasm for the sport, had beaten five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams and Czech seventh seed Karolina Pliskova on her way to the last eight.
But she failed in her bid to become the first Dutchwoman to make the Wimbledon last four since Betty Stove in 1977.
"I don't have many words today to describe the moment I'm going through right now," said Gorges. "
"It's pretty unreal for me at the moment to get to that stage at a Grand Slam. It's been obviously always a dream for every player, to be in a semi-final in Wimbledon."