Ser­ena to duel Venus

Roger Fed­erer in con­tention as big Mon­day starts week at Wim­ble­don

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS - BY CHRIS LEHOURITES

One five-time Wim­ble­don cham­pion is guar­an­teed to reach the quar­ter­fi­nals. Another is as­sured of elim­i­na­tion.

That's what will hap­pen Mon­day when Ser­ena Wil­liams plays older sis­ter Venus Wil­liams for the sixth time at the grass-court Grand Slam in south­west Lon­don.

“They've been un­be­liev­able for the sport. I've said that many times,” said Roger Fed­erer, a seven-time Wim­ble­don cham­pion who will also be play­ing on Manic Mon­day. “Their head-to­heads, I don't know how much that has to do with it. I think it's more their in­di­vid­ual play.”

In­di­vid­u­ally and to­gether, the Wil­liams sis­ters have be­come two of the great­est cham­pi­ons at the All Eng­land Club. They have each won five sin­gles ti­tles, and have teamed up to win five more in dou­bles.

Against each other on the grass at Wim­ble­don, Ser­ena leads 3-2, with all three of her wins com­ing in fi­nals. Venus won one fi­nal, and also won a semi­fi­nal match against her younger sib­ling in 2000 - the first time they met on court at the tour­na­ment.

Although Ser­ena is still at the top of her game and go­ing for a true Grand Slam this sea­son, Venus has been strug­gling for the past few years and was di­ag­nosed with an energy-sap­ping au­toim­mune dis­ease in 2011, three years af­ter her last Wim- ble­don ti­tle. It was the pre­vi­ous year, in 2010, when she last reached the quar­ter­fi­nals at Wim­ble­don.

But this year, Venus has been near­ing her past high stan­dards, win­ning all three of her matches in straight sets.

“She's play­ing so well,” Ser­ena said. “I'm prac­tic­ing next to her ev­ery day and I'm in awe of how she's do­ing. It's a lit­tle frus­trat­ing be­cause I know I have to play her.”

The Wil­liams matchup is just one of the 16 fourth-round matches on the sched­ule for Mon­day - eight for the men and eight for the women.

Here are some things to know about Mon­day's matches:

ROGER'S RECORD

Roger Fed­erer is the only cur­rent player with more Wim­ble­don sin­gles ti­tles than a Wil­liams, and the seven-time cham­pion is one away from a record-set­ting eighth.

Fed­erer has had a rel­a­tively straight­for­ward first week, win­ning his first two matches in straight sets and his third in four. His next op­po­nent is 20thseeded Roberto Bautista Agut, a Spa­niard who is play­ing at Wim­ble­don for the third time and has never reached the fourth round.

But for Fed­erer, the pur­suit of No. 8 and break­ing the tie with Pete Sam­pras and 1880s player Wil­lie Ren­shaw doesn't seem to be the only thing spurring him on.

“This is more some­thing like you talk about for a cou­ple weeks, it's gone again, then you have to wait a year if you don't do it,” Fed­erer said.

AP PHOTO

Roger Fed­erer of Switzer­land chases down a ball from Sam Groth of Aus­tralia dur­ing their sin­gles match at the All Eng­land Lawn Ten­nis Cham­pi­onships in Wim­ble­don, Lon­don, Satur­day.

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