However, Shields was perhaps upstaged by the match that preceded hers: Estelle Mossely (FRA) v. Belyakova had defeated American Mikaela Mayer earlier this week in a quaterfinal match, eliminating Mayer from medal contention.Russia's Anastasiia Beliakova, left, reacts after getting hit on her left elbow by France's Estelle Mossely during a women's lightweight 60-kg semifinals boxing match at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, Aug. Beliakova left the match immediately for medical attention.Belyakova was soon escorted from the arena, and Mossley was declared winner via TKO.Errani staged a fightback at the start of the second set and, in an unforeseen twist, she broke Shvedova’s serve. No woman had ever won a set without dropping a point on the professional circuit before, although Shvedova was the one who came closest.Credit: AP Photo/Frank Franklin II During the first round of the semifinal, it appeared that Mossley landed a hook on Belyakova that broke the Russian boxer's left arm.Belyakova was left screaming in pain in the ring, leading the referee to stop the fight.But Shvedova stepped up her game to tie up a 6-0, 6-4 victory. She held the previous WTA record by winning the first 23 points in the first set against Amy Frazier in 2006, before losing that match 1-6, 6-0, 6-0 in the second round in Memphis.
Claressa Shields, the top seed of the division and reigning London Olympic champion, defeated her opponent Yaroslava Yakushina (RUS) via unanimous decision to move on to the semifinal round.
For Shields, she would make history by retaining the title in her division, although she has already made history as the first ever women's middleweight gold medalist.
Shields will face Dariga Shakimova (KAZ) on Friday.
With this victory, Shields also clinches at least a bronze medal, the third of Team USA's assured medals in the Rio Olympics.
Shields and Shakur Stevenson, who competes on Thursday, both have a shot at a gold medal in their divisions.“Hopefully I’ll be able to win a point in the set,” Williams joked.