CAMILA Giorgi, the daughter of an Italian fashion designer, strutted around Centre Court yesterday as if it were her own personal catwalk. But it was still Serena Williams who arrived in the SW19 semi-finals in style. The quality which the 23-time Grand Slam winner has never goes out of fashion.

If it was a novelty to find none of the top 10 seeds represented on women’s quarter final day, it was even more so when the precision power hitting of the 26-year-old from the town of Macerata near Italy’s Adriatic Coast saw her living La Dolce Vita, a set to the good on the greatest player of all time. The tennis tifosi and paparazzi were out in force as Giorgi became the first woman to take a set from Serena at these championships, wondering if she was about to become the first Italian man or woman to reach a Wimbledon semi-final for 58 years.

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But in that way that the truly great players do, Serena found a few extra gears to go through when she need it most. She may be here with her young daughter Olympia in tow, in only her fourth tournament back, but with this 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win the 36-year-old already stands on the cusp of what would be the mother of all Wimbledon wins.

The one she needs to join Margaret Court on the all-time list with 24 major titles, only Evonne Goolagong Cawley in the Open Era and a trio of unheralded players back before the World War One have ever claimed this title as a mum. So far, this tournament has pretty much been child’s play for her.

With a top speed of 119mph, Giorgi is one of the few women on the tour with a delivery which can rival the 36-year-old for ferocity. So too is Julia Georges of Germany, who defeated Kiki Bertens of Netherlands to become her semi-final opponent, who has served five more aces than her this tournament. There was much to admire about the Italian’s steely game in those early stages, the two players hardly seeming to make eye contact.

But if Serena’s back was against the wall, she hardly seemed to notice. Slowly, imperceptibly, she increased her level – whacking in her first 122mph serve of the tournament just for good measure. There wasn’t the slightest sign of panic. But then why should there be?

“It’s weird,” said Serena. “Sometimes I feel like ‘man, I’m in trouble’. Sometimes I feel I can fight. For whatever reason, today I was so calm. Even when I was down the first set, I thought ‘well, she’s playing great’.

“I learned the lesson of never giving in, always fighting,” she added. “I feel like it’s really important in life, no matter what you’re going through, to never quit. Now that I’m a mom, I just want to even be more of that role model for my daughter, for lots of kids and people out there that just want to be inspired. Here is some good news. Right now there’s so much bad news in the world. We just need a good story.”

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Serena - whose ranking has already dropped from 181 to 51 - likes a good story alright. That is why she hinted that her pal Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, might soon be along to watch her play. “I don’t know,” she said with a smile. “Just stay tuned, right? Stay tuned for the next episode, Serena Williams Centre Court.”

Williams’ last Wimbledon win came in a thrilling 2016 final with Angelique Kerber of Germany and a re-match of that, perhaps with a royal audience, seems likely after the No 11 seed – the highest ranked player remaining – made it past the cherubic Russian Daria Kasatkina by a 6-3, 7-5 score. While the athleticism and attitude of Kerber won the day, this may go down as the day a new Centre Court heroine was born. While the 21-year-old Russian was undone by seven double faults, she nonetheless delighted the crowd with an array of giant leaping backhands and nerveless drop shots, particularly as she saved five match points.

Kerber will face a similar challenge in the form of the fearless Latvian Jelena Ostapenko. The 2016 Roland Garros winner arrives in the last four without dropping a set after an impressive 7-5, 6-4 triumph against Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia. “There are no favourites any more,” said the German. “We are in the semis right now. I’m not looking left or right.”