SERENA WILLIAMS STRUGGLES AGAINST 25TH SEED JIE ZHENG!
First out on Centre Court and hoping for a relatively straightforward afternoon's work, Four time Wimbledon champ, Serena Williams was forced to an energy-sapping struggle that saw her serve to stay in the contest on no less than three occasions and eventually winning with a 6-7(5) 6-2 9-7 victory.
The sixth seed needed three match points to finally put her Chinese opponent to bed, rushing to the net and turning home and athletic volley to win the contest in two hours and 28 minutes.
The second set aside, it was a brutally close contest, with neither player faltering until the very end. Zheng was so comfortable, that game eventually edged the tiebreak to put her more vaunted opponent on the back foot.
Thrust into action Williams bullied her way through the second set to level matters, but the third set did not follow that script - as Williams twice had to serve to stay in the contest at 4-5 and 5-6. That she managed to do and, in truth, Zheng was finding it tougher and tougher to hold - with the pressure finally telling as she faltered at 7-7.
Though Williams wasted two match point opportunities before finally getting the job done.
Williams will now face Yaroslava Shvedova, who defeated 10th seed Sara Errani in an historic match, whose match was most notable for the first set, which saw Shvedova win every single point on the way to clinching it. It is the first time that has ever happened either at Wimbledon or in the women's game, and only the second time it has ever occurred in the professional era.