Venus rolls back clock to reach Wimbledon final
LONDON: Five-time champion Venus Williams rolled back the years to reach her first Wimbledon final since 2009 with a clinically executed 6-4, 6-2 victory over British hope Johanna Konta yesterday.
Konta was looking to become the first woman on home soil to reach the Wimbledon final since Virginia Wade in 1977, but she was picked off at crucial times by the 37-yearold Williams, who will face Garbine Muguruza in tomorrow’s final.
Williams, who claimed the last of her Wimbledon titles nine years ago, was too strong for her opponent from the baseline and was able to produce booming serves whenever the Briton threatened.
After initially going toe-to-toe with the seven-time grand slam winner, Konta was unable to put Williams under sustained pressure and ended the contest a clear second best, losing eight of the final 10 games.
Konta saved two match points before Williams finally ended her resistance, smashing a forehand that flew past the Briton and left the American to twirl in celebration on Centre Court.
“I’ve played a lot of finals here. One more win will be amazing. It won’t be a given but I’ll give it my all,” Williams said.
“The crowd were very nice to me. The crowd were so fair, I know they love Jo.”
Konta’s one chance to upset Williams came in the ninth game of the first set when the Briton crafted two break points, but Williams saved the first with a backhand winner and launched a 106mph second serve to level the score at deuce.
That was as good as it got for Konta, who was immediately broken in the next game.
Williams then turned the screw on her sixth-seeded opponent, breaking twice more to wrap up the match in an hour and 13 minutes.
Muguruza is aiming to become the first Spanish woman for 23 years to win Wimbledon – and yet again a Williams sister stands in her way.
The 23-year-old stormed into the final by beating Magdalena Rybarikova yesterday. Only one Spaniard has previously lifted the Wimbledon women’s title – Conchita Martinez, who has been coaching Muguruza at this tournament.
It will be Muguruza’s second Wimbledon final, having been defeated in 2015 by Venus’ sister Serena, a seven-time winner.
“I always stare at the wall where there are all the names of the previous winners. In the past years, you see the Williams surname a lot,” Muguruza said.
“So I look forward to putting a Spanish name back there.”
“Facing Venus, you know, she won here like five times.
“She knows how to play, especially Wimbledon finals. It’s going to be a historic final again,” she said. — Reuters