REPORTING FROM WIMBLEDON, ENGLAND — Serena Williams never quite lets us in.
Her news conferences and interviews are acts. So when she throws a tantrum or breaks down crying or, better yet, plays doubles with her sister, Venus, and interacts in such a loving way, it is so different and revealing.
Something has been wrong with her lately, and it’s hard to know what it is. But she was awful at the French Open and was overly emotional during her early matches at Wimbledon, pumping her fist and screaming “Come on!”even after her opponent would miss a simple shot. She was winning close matches but not playing well.
On Tuesday, in the quarterfinals against defending Wimbledon champ Petra Kvitova, Williams sat between games with a dazed look in her eyes, held her hands up and took slow, deep breaths. She was calming herself as a routine.
It would end up as the best big match she has played since last year’s US Open, when she was still in her 20s. Williams beat Kvitova 6-3, 7-5, and it was the old Williams, dominant with the serve, powerful.
Still not moving particularly well, but whatever — Williams is two wins from her fifth Wimbledon title.
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