Serena Williams survived a third-round scare from British No. 1 Heather Watson to keep her bid for ‘Serena slam’ alive in Centre Court on Friday.
At 4-3 in the second set, Watson reeled off six straight games- coupled with three service breaks in a row- to move 6-2 4-6 0-3 against the world No. 1, who finally converted her sixth break point on her way to leveling service break at 3-3 and holding for a 4-3 lead.
Backed by a vociferous partisan crowd all around SW19- including her mother Michelle at the ground-, Watson was never giving in and, even held serve and broke again for a 4-5 lead.
But the five-time winner immediately broke back and held a love service game to move 6-5 up, before closing it out 6-2 4-6 7-5 with a right forehand onto the line after 2 hours and 16 minutes.
“I have had some tough losses but that was the toughest match. I have played Heather on centre court. She played unbelievable and should have won match. She gave her all and showed what a great player she is,” the 33-year-old, who has won the first two Grand Slams of 2015, told the BBC Sport.
“She could get even beyond the top 20, she is playing really well. She should get her sights higher, She was playing so good there was nothing I could so.
“I will speak to Venus over the weekened, she is in better form than me, She has the advantage than me.”
Waiting in the round of 16 is her older sibling, Venus, 35, who saw off Serbia’s Aleksandr Krunic 6-3 6-2 moments earlier.
It will be the sixth Wimbledon meeting for the Williams sisters. Venus, whose last triumph at the All England Club came in 2008, last faced Serena at the grass-court slam in 2009.
Serena holds a 14-11 career head-to-head record against her sister. She is bidding for her 20th triumph at a Major and an opportunity to move steps closer to a ‘calendar slam’ as she presently holds the U.S. Open, Australian Open and French Open crowns.