It was Serena's 100th career main draw victory on grass. She stared longingly at her racket for a moment in sheer disbelief.
Marking the occasion, Williams wore an all-white Nike dress with long sleeves and a flounce skirt, which she paired with white court shoes by the same brand and compression legwear. In front of a Centre Court crowd that included Justin Timberlake, Jessica Biel and Drake, Giorgi stood inside the baseline to return the Williams serve, never yielding ground and pushing the American to withstand her power. Partly due to Giorgi's aggressive style of play - which has in no small part got her to the last eight, she didn't regret taking that style of play to Williams, saying: "No, it's my game, that is why I'm playing well today, so no, I don't regret anything".
To make the potential bad omen even scarier, the 2015 loss was to Roberta Vinci, an Italian, and Williams this week was facing Italy's Camila Giorgi.
Bertens was bidding to become the first Dutch woman to reach a Wimbledon semi-final in over 40 years and took the opener in emphatic style. She seemed undaunted by the stage or the opponent. I feel like it takes time to get there.
"I knew after the first set, "all right, let's go three sets". I'm doing a lot of the right things". It is what it is'. I don't feel I have to win this; I don't feel I have to lose this. I can't describe it.
"Sometimes I'm also complaining because I think it was a wrong call".
In June, she was a match away from the French Open quarterfinals before withdrawing from the tournament an hour before her anticipated match against Maria Sharapova. Rodina converted the only other break point she had in the match before immediately dropping her own serve.
"Maybe I'll tweet at him if I win on Wednesday", Isner said. "I probably won't have another 6-0 set this week, so I'll enjoy this one". Everything from that point on seemed to click for Williams. Ostapenko double faults at breakpoint as Kerber clinches the first set 6-3. Williams was broken in the fifth game of the second set, so there is a way to take her down. "I don't want her to have that".
Williams, asked whether she's felt any pressure during this tournament, said, "This is only my fourth tournament back". Giorgi didn't provide much perspective after the match but insisted she was happy with her performance. "It's an honour to share the court with her", Goerges said after booking her last-four spot. She leads 4-2 in the second set.
The 23-time grand slam champion is playing only her fourth tournament since giving birth to daughter Olympia in September.
Williams will face Italian world number 52 Camila Giorgi in the last eight, with the victor going on to face either Bertens or Germany's Julia Goerges in the semi-finals. The two met last month in the second round at the French Open, with Williams winning in straight sets.
Being able to carry this upsurge in momentum into a last-four match with Williams is another matter altogether. We're starting from zero.
Up next, Giorgi is to square off against either 25th-seed Serena Williams of the USA, or world No 120 Evgeniya Rodina of Russian Federation. It will be both very tough matches. And I feel like I'm back.