Venus Williams advances to first Wimbledon title match since 2009
Williams is playing in her ninth championship match and seeking her sixth title and could become the oldest woman to win a Grand Slam title in the Open era
Age ain’t nothing but a number.
And that saying has never held more true than watching Venus Williams dismantle her competition in this year’s Wimbledon tournament. Williams’ latest victim: 26-year-old Johanna Konta, an Australian-born, naturalized Briton who fell 6-4, 6-2 in front of 15,000 spectators on Thursday morning.
Youth and exuberance had nothing on maturity and treachery on this day, as Williams used not only power to overmatch Konta but also gracefulness and forward thinking to seal the straight-sets victory.
“I’ve played in a lot of finals here,” Williams told ESPN.com. “It’s been a blessing. I couldn’t have asked for more, but I’ll ask for a little more. One more win would be amazing.
“It won’t be a given, but I’m going to give it my all.”
Konta, the sixth-ranked player in the world, could not stand the heat Williams was bringing — sidestepping a 103 mph serve that Williams directed to the ad side of the court — and Williams, 37, is on her way to her ninth Wimbledon singles final appearance.
Venus Williams 2nd serve (🎥Eurosport) pic.twitter.com/3jCrXauEto
— doublefault28 (@doublefault28) July 13, 2017
Should she win the title match on Saturday against 15th-ranked Garbine Muguruza, Williams would become the oldest woman to win a Grand Slam championship in the Open era — a record her younger sister, Serena, set at the Australian Open in January. It is Venus Williams’ first appearance in the championship round at Wimbledon in eight years.
If you thought there wasn’t going to be a Williams sister in the title match because Serena is on maternity leave, you just played yourself. Remember, Venus Williams has played in two of the three Grand Slam title matches this year — losing in the Australian Open to her sister, who won her historic 23rd Grand Slam singles championship with that win.
Williams is headed to the title match after being in her baby sister’s shadow, experiencing bouts with various injuries and her fight with Sjogren’s syndrome, and being vindicated in a fatal car crash.
— Andrew Jerell Jones (@sluggahjells) July 13, 2017
The Brit played a good match and had her chances to take leads within the two sets. Every time it appeared she would, though, Williams came storming back.
With the first set tied at 4 apiece, Williams was serving down 15-40. A backhand winner here and a 106 mph serve there quickly erased the deficit, and Williams ultimately won the game to go ahead 5-4. The 11th-ranked player in the world took 12 of 13 points to finish the first set, winning 6-4.
“She played so well,” Williams said of Konta. “No point was easy. I just tried to climb on top each time to get another point.”
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 13, 2017
Konta, who was hoping to become the first British woman to compete in a final since 1977, failed to hold serve for the first time in 20 games.
“She did what she does well,” Konta said. “She dictated the match from the very first ball till the very last one. … It was very difficult for me to get a good foothold in the match. The few opportunities that I did get, she did incredibly well to take them away from me.”