Yesterday it was the turn of the talented Jelena Ostapenko, just one month old when Williams made her Wimbledon debut in 1997.
But she put all that behind her to finish her match with a clinical display and leave Centre Court smiling and able to watch the next match featuring Britain's Jo Konta and Simona Halep as she plays the victor on Thursday. Venus Williams played 100th match at Wimbledon and reached her 10th semifinal.
"I had a really tough time", Rybarikova said, "and right now, I'm here, and everything paid off".
Konta was reduced to tears by what she felt were threats and intimidation from the Romanian fans in Constanta during her match against Sorana Cirstea, but Halep fanned the flames this week when she claimed her compatriots had done nothing wrong.
Garbine Muguruza powered into her second Wimbledon semi-final in the last three years with an emphatic 6-3, 6-4 win over Russian seventh seed Svetlana Kuznetsova on Tuesday.
While Williams was strong on her serves, Ostapenko struggled with her backhand shots.
There was plenty Novak Djokovic was unhappy about after his fourth-round match was delayed until Tuesday due to Rafael Nadal's epic match with Gilles Muller.
She entered the tournament under a cloud of controversy after the death of Jerome Barson, a 78-year-old man who was involved in a Palm Beach, Fla., auto crash with Williams last month.
Muguruza, the runner-up at Wimbledon in 2015, will next face unseeded Magdalena Rybarikova in the semifinals on Thursday. She lost in two sets, 6-4, 6-4, but was happy for her pregnant younger sister to take the title.
"Muguruza impressed me a lot today, I am not the favourite again but let's see".
Williams simply cranked things up a notch, broke the now completely bowed Ostapenko one more time, then served out comfortably.
"I think it was a wrong decision not to play us last night, we could have played". There was a mere resigned shake of her head when Williams eased to three match points and moments later she was gone. Each channel will cover a different match, with play running through the early afternoon.
And make no mistake: Ostapenko, who was ranked 47 when she arrived at Roland Garros and is now No13, also has her sights on the top five.
Venus, after her win over Ana Konjuh, said that Wimbledon needs to consider scheduling more women matches on Centre Court or Court No. 1.
Here's what else you might have missed on a rain-affected day in south west London. "It doesn't matter who I face because they're all playing great".
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. Confidence I'm sure. It's just been such an wonderful result for her.
"I really can not believe it".
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