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Serena downs Venus to win third crown

Serena Williams celebrated American Independence Day by beating sister Venus 7-6, 6-2 to win her third Wimbledon title on Saturday.

Once five-times champion Venus dumped a backhand into the net on Serena’s fourth match point, the younger of the Williams sisters sank to her knees after finally winning her third singles crown at the grasscourt major following a six-year gap.

The 27-year-old quickly got back up on her feet to embrace Venus and then turned to lap up the applause of the 15 000 fans who had packed into a sun-kissed Centre Court.

”I feel so amazing. I’m so blessed … I can’t believe I’m holding it,” said a beaming Serena as she clutched the large Venus Rosewater dish.

”It’s named for Venus and she always wins. It hasn’t settled in that I’ve won yet.”

Venus, who had been bidding to become the first woman to win a hat-trick of titles since Steffi Graf in 1993, paid tribute to her sister.

”She had an answer to everything. She played the best tennis today so congratulations,” said the 29-year-old, who will be back on Centre Court later on Saturday for the doubles final with her sister.

”I don’t think the loss has settled in yet so I’m still smiling. I’ve had so many great times here and of course I’m looking forward to next year and the doubles final.”

There could hardly have been a better way to mark the Fourth of July. Yet Serena so nearly missed the party. In Thursday’s semifinal she had been match-point down against Elena Dementieva before mounting a remarkable comeback.

That great escape appeared to have energised the younger of the Williams sister and she produced a superb display of power and aggression to win her 11th grand slam title.

As has been the case in many contests between Venus and Serena, Saturday’s showdown turned out to be a passionless affair and the crowd struggled to get involved during the 97-minute final.

In a tight first set, Serena faced and saved two break points in the eighth game and the duo headed into a tiebreak, which the second seed raced away 7-3, clinching it with an exquisitely executed backhand lob.

That appeared to take the fight out of Venus and she surrendered her serve in the sixth game of the second set with a double fault and from then on, there was only one winner. – Reuters

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