WIMBLEDON, England – Serena Williams hit 23 aces, held every service game and barely escaped an upset bid by Zheng Jie, winning 6-7 (5), 6-2, 9-7 Saturday in the third round at Wimbledon.
Williams, who erased all six break points she faced, served three times to stay in the match and held each time at love. She was pushed to deuce serving in the final game but closed out the victory with a volley winner, then hopped in glee on the Centre Court grass.
The scrappy, 5-foot-4½ Zheng played with little flash but plenty of consistency, committing only 17 unforced errors.
Williams rocketed a return to break for an 8-7 lead in the final set, then showed how much she wanted to win, throwing back her head and letting out a long scream.