Wimbledon - Reed: Women's tennis in doldrums
Eurosport-Yahoo! blogger Simon Reed believes women's tennis is at a low point thanks to the Williams sisters.
Women's tennis has been in the doldrums recently, with the presence of the Williams sisters required to give tournaments any prestige.
I am optimistic that at the end of the year things could improve and return to a competitive environment, but at the moment the American duo are dominant.
Women's tennis is riding a bad wave at the moment. By next year, however, that wave will be on the rise again: it tends to be a cyclical process.
What has happened to the women's game since Justine Henin retired is the Williams sisters have been left to control proceedings.
Maria Sharapova will be a threat when she recovers fully from injury and Kim Clijsters will return to provide a test, but I am not sure about Jelena Jankovic or Ana Ivanovic.
There is still no doubt in my mind that Serena Williams is the number one player in the world, except possibly on grass where her sister Venus is slightly better.
The rest of the women are, I am afraid, quite a long way behind the pair.
I have always thought that when the Williams sisters are fit, they are easily the best players in the women's game, and today proved that.
The two semi-finals were not a surprise at all, with only the superb performance of Elena Dementieva giving us an exciting match.
I expected the Russian to succumb to nerves once more, but to her credit she did not - and it was a fantastic encounter.
Dinara Safina's world number one ranking is a bit deceptive, given that she has never won a Grand Slam, but it is certainly not her fault that the system is like that.
Some people are criticising her for the fact that she should not be there, but she is consistent on the Tour; to blame her is ridiculous.
Safina has clearly had better results than everyone else this year to achieve that ranking, but I think the system should be changed to reward Grand Slams more.
The weighting of the points system must be more heavily in favour of those players, like the Williams sisters, who perform on the biggest stage.
It is weird that Serena could potentially win the Australian Open and Wimbledon, yet still remain in second spot: that cannot be right.
Safina has never been any good when playing on grass courts, and it was frankly surprising that she even made it this far in the tournament.
I could see her drubbing today coming from a mile off, and it would have been the same if she had been playing Serena instead of Venus.
Safina is simply not a good mover on grass courts, but I would not be surprised if she came back at the US Open and proved a major threat.
Looking ahead to the women's final on Saturday, I may have to switch horses.
I am not one to change my mind very often, but I am moving towards Venus Williams for the title instead of Serena.
I have backed Serena to win the tournament all the way through in an all-Williams final, but the way Venus played today, you would be a brave man not to back her.
It is impossibly difficult to call with the way they are both striking the ball.
I think people are wrong to suggest that it may be a boring final, because I actually believe that it could be very exciting indeed.
Because the Williams sisters have been around for so long, people are now able to associate with one more than the other, and they have very distinct supporters on either side.
Any alternative to this final could well have been a disaster, with either Safina or Dementieva freezing on the big stage, and that would have been a complete nightmare.
An all-Williams final is probably the best draw possible, and let us hope that it is as exciting as the first semi-final was today.
Simon Reed / Eurosport