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» Serena and Venus just one match away from tasty all-Williams
Serena and Venus just one match away from tasty all-Williams
As soon as Serena Williams reached the last four to join sister Venus, the sisters’ opponents Angelique Kerber and Elena Vesnina were immediately cast as irrelevant interlopers.
Invigorating a bland women’s tournament, the prospect of the Williams clan scrapping for the family’s 29th singles major suddenly added a frisson of excitement.
Not that either of the pair seemed outwardly elated.
Contrasting with their wary mindset, Australian Open champion Kerber, who faces Venus, and Serena’s opponent Vesnina were chuffed.
But, given the prevailing mood at the All England Club, it was considered almost an act of heresy to contemplate anything but an all-Williams decider.
If it eventuates it will be the first time the sisters have contested a major final since Wimbledon in 2009.
In the 27 matches contested so far, Serena leads 16-11 and 7-2 in grand slam finals.
Serena, 34, owns 21 majors titles, including six at Wimbledon. Venus, 36, has seven majors crowns, including five at SW19.
For Venus, reaching a semi-final at the highest level for the first time since 2010 marks the end of a long battle with illness — Sjogren’s Syndrome, an auto-immune disease.
“You just have to keep working until things fall into place,” she said.
“The most difficult part of the journey is just not being in control because when you’re an athlete, you’re used to being in control, being able to work for anything.
“Not being able to do that is a challenge.
“Also it was a relief for me to know what was wrong with me because I hadn’t felt well in a while.
“This has been my life. What can I say? I wouldn’t wish it any other way.
“It’s been a beautiful life. It’s been a great experience. It’s been everything
“It’s easy to be afraid. You have to let fear go.
“Another lesson is you just have to believe in yourself, you just have to.
“There’s no way around it. You’ve got to believe in yourself. No matter how things are stacked against you, you just have to every time.”
Venus slumped to No. 102 in the world at her lowest ebb.
Next she faces the mercurial Kerber in search of a 15th major final.
Serena takes on Russia’s Vesnina in quest of her 28th major final.
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