Williams' Wimbledon: Venus, Serena Score Semifinal Wins And Will Meet In Final
Photo By Fred Mullane By Richard Pagliaro
In the global game of tennis, all the world's a stage, and the Williams sisters continue to upstage all the world's players. Straight-set semifinal wins by the Williams' today set up sister showdown in Saturday's Wimbledon final ? their third meeting in a major final in the past four Grand Slams.
"If I serve well I think I have a pretty good chance of winning," Serena said. "But watching Venus today, she played unbelievable. She will be tough to beat. I'm still in shock."
Serena's semifinal victory vaults her to the top spot in the WTA Tour rankings, surpassing current No. 1 Venus, when the new rankings are released on Monday.
"From the day I started playing tennis, I always wanted to be the best," Serena said. "I used to tell me dad I wanted to be No. zero because I thought zero was the highest. I'm happy to be No. 1 now. I'm still in shock."
The last time sisters contested the Wimbledon women's final was in 1884 when Maud Watson defeated sister Lilian Watson 6-8, 6-3, 6-3. Times have changed, but the Williamses commitment to winning remains unwavering.
In a rematch of last year's Wimbledon final, top-seeded Venus Williams beat Belgian Justine Henin 6-3, 6-2 to extend her Wimbledon win streak to 20 matches in advancing to her third consecutive Wimbledon final.
Second-seeded Serena Williams thoroughly thrashed French woman Amelie Mauresmo 6-2, 6-1 as the sisters who share a Palm Beach Gardens, Florida home will share Centre Court to contest Saturday's final.
Father Richard Williams predicted before Venus's first professional match that someday his daughters would secure the top two spots in the rankings and regularly meet in Grand Slam final. The daughters have fulfilled their father's prophecy with powerful play that has put them a level above their closest competition.
The sixth-seeded Henin broke Venus in the opening game of the match then played with guts and guile to hold serve in a epic second game that featured six deuces and spanned 11 minutes. The hold gave Henin a 2-0 lead and the momentum, but also served to inspire Venus and she responded by winning six of the next seven games to take the first set, 6-3.
Despite the fact that Williams connected on only 46 percent of her first serves in the second set, compared to a 70 percent first-serve ratio for Henin, the two-time defending champion did not face a break point and broke the Belgian twice in the second set. Williams' expansive reach was evident in her net play as she won nine of 10 net approaches to close out the match.
Venus has won five of her eight matches with younger sister Serena, but Serena has won their last two meetings including a 7-5, 6-3 victory in the French Open final last month. Venus defeated Serena 6-2, 6-4 in the U.S. Open final last September