No all-Williams final at Wimbledon; Serena faces Kerber


July 08, 2016
Serena Williams returns to Elena Vesnina of Russia during their women's singles match yesterday. Williams won in straight sets. (AP Photo)
Angelique Kerber of Germany returns to Venus Williams during their women's singles match on day 11 of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, yesterday. Kerber won 6-4, 6-4. (AP Photo)


Venus Williams' deepest Grand Slam run in a half-dozen years ended one victory short of what would have been yet another Wimbledon title match against her sister Serena.

Unable to replicate the sort of turn-back-time performance that carried her to the semi-finals at the All England Club, Venus was broken in her first four service games Thursday and lost to number four-seeded Angelique Kerber 6-4, 6-4.

The 36-year-old Venus was the oldest Slam semi-finalist since Martina Navratilova was 37 at Wimbledon in 1994. Venus is a five-time champion at the grass-court tournament, but she hadn't made it this far at Wimbledon since 2009 or at any major since the 2010 US Open.

So now, instead of an all-Williams final tomorrow, it will be Kerber against number one Serena in a rematch of the Australian Open final won by the German in January.

Serena won 28 of 31 points that she served, including the last 17, and compiled a 28-9 edge in total winners.

Since winning her sixth Wimbledon trophy a year ago to raise her career count to 21 majors, Serena has come quite close to tying Steffi Graf with 22, the most in the Open era, which began in 1968 (Margaret Court holds the all-time mark of 24). But Serena was surprisingly beaten by Roberta Vinci in the US Open semi-finals last September, then by Kerber in Melbourne, and by GarbiOe Muguruza in the French Open final last month.

Serena has won five of their previous seven matches.

Earlier on Centre Court, Serena never gave Vesnina a chance to pull off the sort of semi-final stunner that Vinci did last year in New York, stopping Williams from completing the first calendar-year Grand Slam since Graf did it in 1988.

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