LONDON – Venus Williams' mother had just watched her 37-year-old daughter reach the Wimbledon semifinals for the 10th time and, well, the whole thing was just a bit hard to believe.
"She says, 'I love my job!' and she means it. I guess she's kind of like a boxer: People think it's time for her to quit because she's too old," Oracene Price said. "But she keeps getting back in the ring — and she seems to be doing pretty well. This is really amazing."
Enjoying a career renaissance deep into her 30s, despite dealing with an energy-sapping disease, Williams rode a strong serve that produced eight aces, imposing returns and her court coverage of old to a 6-3, 7-5 victory over French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia.
All three of Williams' most recent competitors were born in 1997, the year she made her Wimbledon debut.
"The competition keeps you growing," said Williams, who is the oldest women's semifinalist at Wimbledon since Martina Navratilova in 1994. "You have to get better if you want to stay relevant."
This was her 100th Wimbledon match.
Other women's winners
• No. 6 Johanna Konta, Williams' semifinal opponent on Thursday, beat No. 2 Simona Halep 6-7 (2), 7-6 (5), 6-4 to become the first British woman to reach the Wimbledon semifinals since Virginia Wade was runner-up in 1978. Wade sat in the Royal Box for Konta's victory. Konta, born in Australia, gained her British citizenship in 2012. "To be in the semifinals of my home Slam, and to do that in front of a full Centre Court, I mean, it's pretty, pretty special," Konta said.
• No. 14 Garbine Muguruza, the 2015 Wimbledon runner-up and 2016 French Open champion, defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3, 6-4.
• Magdalena Rybarikova defeated No. 24 CoCo Vandeweghe 6-3, 6-3 to become the first woman from Slovakia to reach a Wimbledon semifinal. Rybarikova, ranked 87th in the world, had never been past the third round in 35 previous Grand Slam appearances.
A look ahead
A Wimbledon-record five men older than 30 will play in the men's quarterfinals on Wednesday, led by 35-year-old Roger Federer, who is bidding for a record eighth title at the All England Club.
The Federer-Milos Raonic winner will take on either three-time champion Novak Djokovic, 30, or Tomas Berdych, 31, in the semifinals. Despite a sore shoulder, Djokovic had little trouble eliminating Adrian Mannarino 6-2, 7-6 (5), 6-4 on Tuesday in a match postponed Monday night because of darkness.
On the other half of the draw, two-time champion Andy Murray, 30, plays 24th-seeded American Sam Querrey, who has never been to a major semifinal. The other quarterfinal is Marin Cilic against 16th-seeded Gilles Muller, 34.