Venus and Ser­ena in Aus­tralian Open fi­nal show­down

Weekly Trust - - Shot! -

There are few con­stants in life, but Ser­ena and Venus Wil­liams still con­tinue to reign atop the ten­nis world, even well into their 30s.

Thurs­day in Mel­bourne, Aus­tralia the sis­ters achieved an­other mile­stone, each ad­vanc­ing to the Aus­tralian Open fi­nal. There, they will face each other for the ninth time, and the first since 2009, for a Grand Slam ti­tle.

A Ser­ena Wil­liams win would be her 23rd Grand Slam ti­tle, sur­pass­ing St­effi Graf for most in the Open era.

Up first, el­der sis­ter Venus Wil­liams, who turns 37 in June, won a gru­el­ing semi­fi­nal match against fel­low Amer­i­can CoCo Van­deweghe, 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-3.

Venus Wil­liams and Van­deweghe, both heavy hit­ters, came out swing­ing in Mel­bourne. The open­ing set be­gan with two breaks of serve. Though largely Venus Wil­liams out­played her 25-year-old in the opener, Van­deweghe kept fight­ing, with five aces and seven win­ners, and pulled it to­gether in the tiebreak to take a one-set lead.

Vis­i­bly frus­trated by the deficit, Venus Wil­liams buck­led down. She stormed out to a 5-1 lead in the sec­ond, fir­ing eight aces and win­ning 82 per­cent of first serves to take things to a de­cider.

In the third set, Venus Wil­liams’ ex­pe­ri­ence turned out to be the dif­fer­ence over her younger op­po­nent.

While Venus Wil­liams took her time in de­feat­ing her foe, Ser­ena Wil­liams took care of busi­ness in or­derly fash­ion, fin­ish­ing off Mir­jana Lu­cic-Baron, 6-2, 6-1 in just un­der an hour.

Younger sis­ter Ser­ena, 35, owns the over­all Grand Slam fi­nal se­ries 6-2. The last time they played in an Aus­tralian Open fi­nal came in 2003, when Ser­ena cap­tured her first “Ser­ena Slam.”

And, fit­tingly, the first time the sis­ters ever met in a Grand Slam was at the Aus­tralian Open in 1998.

“She’s ba­si­cally my world and my life,” Ser­ena Wil­liams said. “To meet in the fi­nal … is the big­gest dream come true for us.”

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