Wimbledon 2012: Three-set thriller was a gut check – Serena Williams
Serena Williams describes her three-set victory over China's Jie Zheng in the third round at Wimbledon as a "gut check"
Serena Williams described her three-set victory over China’s Jie Zheng as a “gut check” after the American won the third set 9-7 to set up a fourth-round meeting with Yaroslava Shvedova.
The 30-year-old struggled to cope with the 25th seed in the opening stages and Zheng pipped Williams to the first set after a tight tiebreak – but the sixth seed responded and levelled the match in a blistering 25 minutes.
The four-time Wimbledon champion was forced to endure a nerve-wracking deciding set, but aided by a record 23 aces, she broke Zheng at 7-7 and managed to hold in the following game to avoid a shock upset, winning 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 9-7.
“I definitely felt like it was a gut check. I’ve always been really strong mentally. That’s not going anywhere,” said Williams.
“I hit so many errors off the returns. I was just off. Usually I’m returning really, really well. I just have to make sure that I can do better.
“She played really well, she was unbelievable, but I still think I can play better.”
Williams admitted there are no easy matches at Wimbledon following the exit of world No2 Rafael Nadal on Thursday, while Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova all dropped sets en route to victory in their third-round matches.
“I’m just doing the best I can. I try not to make too many excuses,” she added.
“Everyone is playing everyone tough nowadays. You can’t underestimate anyone. Any opponents, you have to always do what you can.”
Williams faces Sara Errani’s conqueror, Yaroslava Shvedova, in round four.