Five-time champion Venus reaches first Wimbledon quarterfinal since 2010

by: AP | July 04, 2016

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Williams reached the quarterfinals by beating Carla Suarez Navarro, 7-6 (3), 6-4. (AP)

LONDON (AP) Venus Williams has gotten this far before. Many times, in fact.

It's just been a while.

The five-time Wimbledon champion will be playing in the quarterfinals at the All England Club for the 12th time in her career, but the first time since 2010.

''Yeah, it's been a few years. Missed a year or two,'' said Williams, who has been slowed in recent years by Sjogren's syndrome, a condition that can cause joint pain and saps energy. ''But I've been here before. I'm not, like, a deer in the headlights.''

The eighth-seeded Williams will take on Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan on Tuesday, a player she has never faced.

Williams reached the quarterfinals by beating Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain 7-6 (3), 6-4, while Shvedova defeated 28th-seeded Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-4.

''I've never played her, so we'll see how it goes,'' Williams said. ''First couple rounds were against players I've never played. It's always interesting. You spend the first few games trying to figure out what's working, what's not working. It will definitely be that tomorrow.''

All four women's quarterfinals will be played Tuesday. In the other matches, it's: Serena Williams vs. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova; Dominika Cibulkova vs. Elena Vesnina; and Angelique Kerber vs. Simona Halep.

One more men's fourth-round match, between Tomas Berdych and Jiri Vesely, will also be completed after darkness suspended play on Monday.

Shvedova will be playing in the Wimbledon quarterfinals for the first time, but she is part of history at the club after winning a ''golden set'' in 2012 - taking every point in a set.

Venus, however, is one of the most successful players in Wimbledon history. The 36-year-old American won her first title at the All England Club in 2000, and then added titles in 2001, `05, `07 and `08.

She then reached the final in 2009, and the quarterfinals in 2010, but has struggled as the years have passed.

''I always want more. I want more out of myself,'' Venus said. ''For sure, I haven't had an easy road, but a lot of people haven't. I try not to think about those sorts of things. I try to think about what I can accomplish.''

Here are some other matches to watch at Wimbledon on Tuesday:

SERENA WILLIAMS VS. ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA: Serena Williams will be on court for the third straight day as she tries to win her 22nd Grand Slam title.

The top-ranked Serena, the younger sister of Venus Williams, is 5-0 against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, but they have never met on grass.

''We've had some tough matches in the past,'' Serena said. ''I've lost to players that's never beaten me in the past in some big situations. I definitely don't want that to happen.''

DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA VS. ELENA VESNINA: With her wedding date in the balance, Dominika Cibulkova will face Elena Vesnina for a spot in the Wimbledon semifinals.

Cibulkova had planned to get married on Saturday, the day of the women's final, but said if she wins on Tuesday she will postpone her wedding.

''I'm just really happy right now with my tennis and with my private life,'' the 27-year-old Cibulkova said. ''You can see it on the court. We are still keeping this date. We'll see what's going to happen.''

SIMONA HALEP VS. ANGELIQUE KERBER: Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber is one win away from matching her best performance at Wimbledon - the 2012 semifinals.

But Simona Halep, the 2014 French Open finalist, has been getting better on the grass at the All England Club, reaching the quarterfinals last year.

''I improved a lot in the last period. But grass always was a good surface for me,'' Halep said. ''I played well in 2014. I have great memories from here, and I'm just trying to improve my game on every surface.''

TOMAS BERDYCH VS. JIRI VESELY: Tomas Berdych and Jiri Vesely will have to play the fifth set of their fourth-round match on Tuesday.

Berdych, the 2010 runner-up at Wimbledon, had five match points in the fourth set, but Vesely forced the tiebreaker and evened the match on his seventh set point.

Vesely won the first set 6-4, but Berdych won the next two 6-3, 7-6 (8). Vesely then won the fourth set 7-6 (9).

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