Serena Williams into 12th Wimbledon semi-final

Serena Williams of the United States plays a shot in her Ladies Singles fourth round match against Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain during Day Seven of The Championships - Wimbledon 2019 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 08, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Serena Williams of the United States plays a shot in her Ladies Singles fourth round match against Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain during Day Seven of The Championships - Wimbledon 2019 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 08, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

London - Seven-time champion Serena Williams reached her 12th Wimbledon semi-final on Tuesday with a hard fought 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 victory over unseeded American compatriot Alison Riske. 

The 37-year-old Williams, who is two wins away from equalling Margaret Court's Grand Slam singles title record haul of 24, looked far from convincing as Riske pushed her the whole way over an engrossing two-hour duel.

However, Williams served it out with an ace to seal her 97th win at Wimbledon and avoid the same fate as world number one Ashleigh Barty, who Riske beat on Monday.

"It was really satisfying," said Williams, whose clay court season was affected by a knee injury.

"I wouldn't have won that match a couple of weeks ago.

"I'm glad that I was able to come through. She beat so many great players. She was really so close to taking the win today."

Williams, who moved into second place overall behind Martina Navratilova's record of 120 Wimbledon match wins, was constantly cajoling herself and letting out roars of come on during the match as her sometimes leaden-footed performance threatened to undo her.

Having sealed the match she turned to the players box where among others she was supported by older sister Venus and her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, and yelled, pumping her fists. 

"I was really pumped, it was for a place in the semis at Wimbledon - that doesn't happen every day and it's a long, arduous road," said Williams.

"I just had to just button up and play hard.

"She was playing her heart out and she had nothing to lose and I realised neither did I."

Williams will play either Britain's French Open semi-finalist Johanna Konta or Czech veteran Barbora Strycova for a place in the final.

Wimbledon results on Tuesday (x denotes seeding):

Women

Quarter-finals

Serena Williams (USA x11) bt Alison Riske (USA) 6-4, 4-6, 6-3

Barbora Strycova (CZE) bt Johanna Konta (GBR x19) 7-6 (7/5), 6-1

Elina Svitolina (UKR x8) bt Karolina Muchova (CZE) 7-5, 6-4

Simona Halep (ROM x7) bt Zhang Shuai (CHN) 7-6 (7/4), 6-1

Wimbledon women's singles semi-finals line-up (x denotes seeded player):

Serena Williams (USA x11) v Barbora Strycova (CZE) 

Elina Svitolina (UKR x8) v Simona Halep (ROM x7)

loading... Live
Baroka FC 0
Bloemfontein Celtic 0
loading... Live
England 219 & 22/0 (9.5 ov, target 277)
Pakistan 326 & 169
loading... Live
England 219 & 22/0 (9.5 ov, target 277)
Pakistan 326 & 169
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Rugby
44% - 5720 votes
Cricket
11% - 1417 votes
Football
19% - 2405 votes
Athletics
2% - 293 votes
Boxing
1% - 113 votes
Cycling
2% - 291 votes
Golf
5% - 631 votes
Motorsport
8% - 1016 votes
Tennis
3% - 403 votes
Water sports
1% - 111 votes
American sports
1% - 125 votes
MMA / WWE / UFC
3% - 365 votes
Vote