Twenty years are passed since her Wimbledon debut, and Venus Williams looked comfortably at home playing her 100th match at the All England Club. "I was really happy to come out on top". "There's no other explanation. So I think it was great preparation for me to be able to, you know, kind of get used to that sort of pace". I was up a break in the first set, and you think that's pretty easy going.
"So whatever age that is, as long as I feel like that, then I know that I can contend for titles every time". It's a handsome game. I did my best.
As Williams journeyed to a facile victory, a partisan audience on Court No. 1 cheered Johanna Konta as she squeezed past Caroline Garcia in a tight and dramatic three-setter 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-4, becoming the first British woman to reach a Wimbledon quarterfinal since 1984.
A first-round loser in eight of her previous nine Wimbledon appearances, the world No.87 is the lowest-ranked semi-finalist since 2008. With a win, Halep would have ascended to No. 1 in the world.
With pregnant younger sister Serena skipping Wimbledon, Venus has been in the headlines on and off the court.
Williams went up a break early in both sets against Ostapenko, the French Open champion.
This year, in fact, she has lost just twice in 23 matches after winning the first set. She saved the first, before the American conjured a huge serve to settle the set.
"Haven't seen her play a lot", she said.
Asked if she noticed a difference with them not being there in person, Williams said: "Of course - but I had to get focused immediately on the tennis".
Williams' challenge was ended a year ago by Angelique Kerber, who in turn fell at the hands of the imperious Serena in the final.
The 36-year-old player faces 20-year-old Jeļena Ostapenko of Latvia in the quarterfinals tomorrow. "Ever", Williams said, then repeated that final word for emphasis. "I'd like to think that I can continue to rely on that as the matches continue".
If she wins Wimbledon it will be the first grass-court title of her career, coming just two weeks after she feared her participation in the tournament might be ruined by a back injury suffered in the Eastbourne warm-up event.
Venus Williams revealed in 2011 that she was diagnosed with Sjogren's syndrome, which can sap energy and cause joint pain. "That's all I felt like".
Svetlana Kuznetsova felt Muguruza's team pushed those boundaries in their quarter-final - which the latter won in straight sets. Halep made it to the finals of the French Open, but fell short of her first Grand Slam win when she lost to the unseeded Ostapenko. And veteran players enter fewer tournaments than they used to, to increase their chances of being healthy and fresh so they have a better chance to win one of the four Grand Slams - the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.
The site of her 6-3, 7-6 (6) victory over No. 4 Elina Svitolina has a seating capacity of 1,065, making it only the fifth largest for the event.
Williams sealed a 6-3, 7-5 victory with an unanswerable serve to become the oldest women's semi-finalist since Martina Navratilova in 1994.
Ostapenko was leading 5-2 in the second round, but she has been the victim of a breach, and caused the tie-breaker.
Rybarikova - whose ranking slipped to 453rd this year following wrist and knee injuries - knocked out Pliskova in the second round.