Mine to lose? Theirs to win, insists Serena

London: Surrounded by a trio of unfamiliar Eastern European challengers, Serena Williams discovered that the Wimbledon title was hers to lose on Tuesday after she survived the cull of seeds to reach the semi-finals.

Russian Vera Zvonareva, Czech Petra Kvitova and Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova -- names that are barely household names in their native towns let alone in the wider world -- earned their golden tickets to the semis after a day of topsy-turvy tennis.

Gone was US Open champion Kim Clijsters, who fell to Zvonareva in three sets, and more surprisingly, Serena`s elder sister and five-times champion Venus was left flabbergasted as she was ejected by world number 82 Pironkova.

That left world number one and holder Serena as the only recognisable face in the women`s draw and the overwhelming favourite to lift her fourth title on Saturday. Yes?

Well, not according to Serena.

"It`s not mine to lose, it`s mine to win if I can get it. There`s three other people that are vying to win it. They have just as good a chance as I do," said the 28-year-old.

"I don`t feel like I`ve been playing my best tennis in this championship. I feel like it would be a good win to get under my belt."

Considering Serena has yet to drop a set at this year`s event, and won the first set in each of her first three matches 6-0 and has belted down 73 aces in the process, it is difficult to see how anyone can topple her from her perch.

While Serena has 12 grand slam singles trophies, including three at Wimbledon, contested 15 grand slam finals and 18 semis, her trio of challengers can boast one semi-final showing between them -- with Zvonareva taking that honour.

While Serena said it was nice to new faces make a name for themselves at Wimbledon "cause it keeps the sport exciting" she also made a point that the only reason these players were still here was because the Williams production line stopped with her.

"My dad and my mom stopped having kids after me, so...there wasn`t able to be any more Williamses. I think for the most part the tour is excited it`s only the two of us," she said with a twinkle in her eye.

"Any more and it would be disastrous, especially if they were younger ones that keep doing well."

Since the American siblings have ruled Wimbledon with a vice-like grip for most of the 21st century, winning eight titles between them since 2000, things could not have really got much better for the Williams clan, more siblings or not.

On Friday, Kvitova will be out to try and end that domination and hope Serena surrenders more than the measly three games she gave up in their only previous meeting.

Bureau Report

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