All-Williams final at Wimbledon?
Wimbledon could be headed for another all-Williams final. Then again, it could be an all-Russian affair.
The Williams sisters are one round away from another Grand Slam championship showdown, but they will first have to get past Russian opponents to set up their eighth meeting in a major final and fourth in the Wimbledon title match.
“I would love it to be a Williams final, and so would she,” five-time champion Venus said, referring to younger sister and two-time winner Serena. “That would be great.”
Third-seeded Venus, going for her third straight Wimbledon championship, will be up against No.
1 Dinara Safina in Thursday’s semifinals. Serena, seeded No. 2, will face No. 4 Elena Dementieva.
The Williams siblings go in as solid favorites. They have put on a clinic of power tennis so far, showing why they have been the dominant force at the All England Club for most of the decade.
“Do I feel invincible?” Venus said after blasting Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1, 6-2 in Tuesday’s quarter-finals. “I’d like to say yes, but I really do work at it.”
Only once in the past nine years has there been a Wimbledon women’s final that didn’t feature at least one of the Williams sisters. That was 2006 when Serena was absent injured.
They have faced each other in three Wimbledon finals, including last year. Serena won the first two, in 2002 and 2003. They are 10-10 in career meetings and have played in seven Grand Slam finals, with Serena winning five.
“Serena and I work really hard—that’s the first point,” Venus said. “And second, if it was so easy, we’d win everything. But it’s not that easy. We still are definitely the front-runners in tennis as far as being some of the best players out there.”
The women had the day off Wednesday, which was set aside for the men’s quarter-finals.
Five-time champion Roger Federer, closing in on a record 15th Grand Slam title, was scheduled up first on Centre Court against big-serving Croat Ivo Karlovic, followed by No. 3 Andy Murray of Britain against Spanish wild card and former world’s No.1 Juan Carlos Ferrero.
On Court 1, No. 4 Novak Djokovic of Serbia was to face German Tommy Haas, with two-time finalist Andy Roddick of the U.S. paired against 2002 champion Lleyton Hewitt of Australia.
The Williams sisters have sailed through the draw so far without dropping a set. Venus has lost only 20 games in five matches, Serena 25.
“We have a great game,” Serena said after beating Victoria Azarenka 6-2, 6-3 on Tuesday. “We have strong serves. We have pretty good returns. Just solid all-around court players. We both move pretty well. That’s a pretty solid game.”
Venus said the sisters thrive at Wimbledon not only because of their attacking, punishing styles.
“I do have strategy,” she said. “Maybe it doesn’t look like it but I do. That’s my secret weapon, that it doesn’t look like I’m thinking, but I am.”
Venus has shown no letup in her aggressive style despite wearing a bandage on her left leg. She has been reluctant to discuss whether she has a knee problem.
“I’m doing well, thank you,” she said after Tuesday’s match.
One person who is convinced the sisters will meet for the title on Saturday is their father, Richard.
“They are both playing super well,” he said. “They’re playing ‘The Williams Way’. And when you’re playing ‘The Williams Way’, it’s very difficult for anyone to touch you.”
Williams has a 2-1 career edge over Safina, though the Russian won their most recent meeting in three sets on clay at the Italian Open in May.
“I know what she’s doing,” Safina said. “I know her weapons. I have my weapons… If I play my best, and she plays the best, it’s 50-50 who’s going to win the match.”
Safina, who has lost in three Grand Slam finals and never won a major, will have to keep her serve in the court if she has any chance of beating Williams. Safina served 15 double-faults—including three in a row in one game—before finishing off Germany’s Sabine Lisicki 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-1 in the quarters.
“Sometimes even I don’t know what I’m doing with my serve,” Safina said.
Serena is 5-3 against Dementieva. They met at Wimbledon in the fourth round in 2002, with Serena winning 6-2, 6-2.
“I don’t remember that,” Williams said. “I’m going to YouTube it, though.”
Dementieva lost to Venus in last year’s Wimbledon semifinals.
Now playing in her 43rd Grand Slam tournament, the 27-year-old Russian hasn’t dropped a set so far.
“This time I’m going to play a different player and it’s going to be all new,” Dementieva said. “I just want to see how tough I can be out there against her, just looking for some good fight.”—Sapa, AP