LONDON: Serena Williams believes her Centre Court scare against China’s Zheng Jie was the perfect preparation for the sterner tests that lie ahead in the second week of Wimbledon.
Four-time champion Serena narrowly avoided an embarrassing third round exit on Saturday as she fought back from a set down to grind out a gritty 6-7 (5/7), 6-2, 9-7 victory over the tenacious Zheng.
While the sixth-seeded American would have preferred a routine straight sets win, she is convinced the experience of coming back from the brink will make her even more battle-hardened in the remaining four matches that stand between her and a fifth Wimbledon title.
“It definitely helps me to realize that’s it’s not going to be easy going forward. I just have to stay focused,” former world number one Serena said.
“Everyone’s trying to win, but I can win matches like this. Not that I’ve ever doubted that, but it’s always good to have that reconfirmation.”
Surviving a tough examination against Zheng was also important for Serena’s morale as she tries to erase the memories of defeat against France’s V Razzano in the French Open first round.