Serena targets Steffi’s record again at Wimbledon


After Williams needed all of 48 minutes to overwhelm Elena Vesnina 6-2, 6-0 at the All England Club, older sister Venus failed to join in the family fun, losing to Kerber 6-4, 6-4 in Thursday's second semifinal.

This was her first Wimbledon singles semi-final since 2009, and first at any grand slam for six years, and at the age of 36 Williams was the oldest woman to reach this stage in SW19 since a 37-year-old Martina Navratilova in 1994.

The Wimbledon final will be their first reunion on the court since that match, which Kerber won in three sets.

In a rematch of this year's Australian Open final, Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber will square off in the Wimbledon final on Saturday.

Speaking about Kerber's play in the three-set Australian Open final, Williams said: "She came out swinging, ready to win".

Williams, who turns 35 in September, has 21 Grand Slam singles titles, one shy of the record held by Steffi Graf, who happens to be a mentor to Kerber, 28. I don't think that's the right topic right now to speak about that.

Kerber did play her heart out and rode on her incredible her self-belief to snatch the Australian Open crown from Serena in January but, for her part, the American was absolutely not the quintessential version of the dominant player that we are so used to seeing. "For me it's obviously holding the trophy and winning which would make it a better accomplishment for me".

The best point of the match was probably the last.

"She has never been known to have a big serve, it is more a consistent serve and it has improved in the previous year".

Having been the world No. 1 for years now, she knows how to handle pressure, so I don't think this will be a factor in the outcome today.

Whatever the result, making the final ensures that Kerber will become world No 2 for the first time in her career.

In the past nine months, she has lost in the semi-finals at last year's US Open and been beaten in finals by Kerber and Garbine Muguruza in Melbourne and Roland Garros. "That's what makes me Serena".

Serena, playing in her 32nd Grand Slam semi-final, blasted last-four debutant Vesnina off the sun-kissed Centre Court in front of Prince William's wife Kate watching from up in the Royal Box.

I'm really enjoying my tennis life. "I know I have to play my best tennis".

"I have to be aggressive, go for it, try to win the match and not hope she will miss". "I'm a little bit more relaxed when I'm going to the tournaments".

After dropping the opening set against Christina McHale in a ragged tiebreaker, Williams plopped herself in her sideline chair and proceeded to smack her racket repeatedly against the grass, before flinging the equipment so far behind her that it landed in the lap of a TV cameraman. Except, of course, females don't play five-set matches, an issue which again reared its tiresome head following the back-to-back semifinal duds on Thursday, distaff side of SW19.

Kerber is the fifth left-handed woman to reach the Wimbledon final in the open era. I like the way she takes the ball early and hits it without too much spin.

But her mere presence has caused controversy: on the tennis circuit she has stood in stark contrast to the rest not just because of her skin colour but because the stereotypical women's player is, as she describes it, "really tall, really thin and really lean" while she has "extra stuff" to carry with her from baseline to net. I think it does not depend on the score. Of the furnace of tiebreakers, she said even then, "When I get into tiebreakers, I feel like I can't lose".