Serena Williams struggles but survives against Yulia Putintseva to make semi-finals of French Open
Top seed will now meet unseeded Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands for a place in the final
Serena Williams kept alive her hopes of winning a 22nd grand slam title by fighting back from a set and a break down to defeat unheralded Yulia Putintseva in the French Open quarter-finals on Thursday.
The top seed and defending champion defeated the world number 60 from Kazakhstan 5-7, 6-4, 6-1.
Asked about Putintseva, the world No 1 said: “She’s unbelievable and I didn’t think I was going to win that but somehow I did.”
Williams will now face Kiki Bertens, who became the first Dutchwoman in 45 years to reach the French Open semi-finals with a 7-5, 6-2 win over Swiss eighth seed Timea Bacsinszky.
Victory for Bertens, the world No 58, was her 12th successive victory, having arrived in Paris from Nuremburg where she had won the title as a qualifier.
Williams is looking to equal Steffi Graf’s modern era record (since 1968) of 22 grand slam titles set in Paris in 1999.
The other women’s semi-final sees Garbine Muguruza play Sam Stosur.