Serena Williams staved off an upset bid by Zheng Jie, winning 6-7 (5-7), 6-2, 9-7, in the third round of the Wimbledon Championship Tournament June 30 in Wimbledon, England.
Williams faced six break points, but managed to erase them all. She also overcame a love-40 deficit in a match-point game for Zheng, then bounced back hard to win 14 straight service points, including three aces to reach a 7-7 tie in the final game.
Tied at seven sets in the final game, she fired back a fast return to take the lead and then let out a long, loud passionate scream, showing just how much she wanted to advance onto the next round.
“I just wanted to get through the set,” Williams told reporters after the match. “The last thing I wanted to do was lose.”
Williams set a new Wimbledon record 23 aces in her match against Zheng Jie, who only recorded one ace. Still, Zheng pushed Williams to the limit with her consistent play, committing only 17 unforced errors throughout the entire match.
The wind may have also contributed to Williams’ struggles, as she shanked several return attempts on serves by Zheng that lacked overwhelming power.
Williams, a four-time Wimbledon champ, hasn’t won a Grand Slam event since winning Wimbledon in 2010. The 13-time Grand Slam champ will face Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan in the fourth round on July 2.