Serena Williams says she is getting closer to being back to her best ahead of the Wimbledon quarter-finals, but she has an ominous warning for the rest of the field.
That warning? She's not back to her very best just yet.
The seven-time champion faces Italian world number 52 Camila Giorgi for a place in the last four in only her fourth tournament since giving birth to daughter Olympia in September.
After sweeping aside Russian Evgeniya Rodina 6-2, 6-2 on Centre Court during Manic Monday, Williams, 36, had an ominous warning for her rivals.
She said: “I feel like I’m getting to where I want to be.
“For me, there’s so much further I want to go to get back where I was, and hopefully go beyond that.
“I’m getting there. I don’t think I’m there yet. I feel like it takes time to get there.
“I’m always striving for perfection. There’s a lot of things that, I don’t know if you can tell, but I really need to work on. Hopefully I can get there.”
Williams, currently the world number 181 having slipped down the rankings following her maternity leave, is the lowest-ranked player to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals in the open era.
Seventh seed Karolina Pliskova’s defeat to Kiki Bertens means that none of the top eight are in the quarter-finals for the first time since the All England Club introduced seedings in 1927.
Bertens will meet German 13th seed Julia Goerges, who beat Donna Vekic 6-3, 6-2.
Dominika Cibulkova, whose straight-sets win over Hsieh Su-wei was overshadowed by a lengthy argument with umpire Zhang Juan over a disputed point, faces last year’s French Open winner and 12th seed Jelena Ostapenko.
Angelique Kerber, seeded 11 and now the highest-ranked player left in the tournament, beat Belinda Bencic of Switzerland 6-3, 7-6 (7/5) and will meet Daria Kasatkina, who ended Alison Van Uytvanck’s run with a 6-7 (6/8,) 6-3, 6-2 win.