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Serena fires semi-final warning

Serena Williams denies that this year's Wimbledon title is hers to lose as she goes into Thursday's semi-final with Petra Kvitova.

sports Updated: Jun 30, 2010 11:32 IST

Serena Williams denies that this year's Wimbledon title is hers to lose as she goes into Thursday's semi-final with Petra Kvitova.

Defending champion Williams, who is chasing a fourth Wimbledon singles crown, is the only top 20 player in the last four and all eyes are on whether the in-form outsiders, can stop her.

As the pressure of expectation mounts on the American world number one's shoulders, she played up Kvitova's credentials and highlighted the dangers of underestimating a hungry new generation.

"It's not mine to lose, it's mine to win if I can get it. There's three other people that are vying to win it. They have just as good a chance as I do," Williams insisted.

"I definitely feel like I'm a veteran on the tour. But there's so many other things I do in life that I feel really young yet," the 28-year-old said.

"So many new faces just in general on the tour. Every year there's so many new players and so many new faces. It's good because it keeps the sport exciting."

Kvitova, the world number 62, is one of those who have rocketed through the pack to reach the semi-finals.

Aged 20, Kvitova is the youngest player and the only left-hander in the last four.

The Czech number three had fallen at the first round at her two Wimbledons thus far, and had never won on grass before her run this year.

But Williams said she was definitely one to watch.

Kvitova has put out Chinese 23rd seed Zheng Jie, Belarusian 14th seed Victoria Azarenka, and Danish third seed Caroline Wozniacki before coming from a set and a string of match points down to beat Estonian qualifier Kaia Kanepi in the quarter-finals.

"She's a good player. I thought she would get through in the early rounds. I'm not surprised that I'm playing her. She's really, really good," the top seed said.

"Early in the tournament, I saw her playing a couple rounds and she was just hitting the ball so clean.

"When she beat Wozniacki I wasn't surprised, because I just saw how well she was doing and how well she was playing."

In their only previous encounter, Williams beat Kvitova in the second round of this year's Australian Open, winning 6-2, 6-1.