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Venus Williams into ninth Wimbledon final


Setting records seemingly every time she steps on to the court, Venus Williams is a win away from becoming the oldest women’s grand slam champion in professional tennis history.

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The 37-year-old will play Spanish ace Garbine Muguruza in her ninth Wimbledon final after crushing British hopes with a 6-4 6-2 dismissal of sixth-seeded sentimental favourite Johanna Konta.

Williams’ 87th victory at The All England Club in her 20th campaign eclipsed the record she held with pregnant sister Serena and ended the longest-ever wait between Wimbledon finals appearances.

The resurgent former world No.1 pulled off a similar feat at the Australian Open in January before losing to Serena, and now has the chance on Saturday to gain grand slam redemption.

If she emulates Serena’s win over Muguruza in the 2015 final, Williams will also keep the trophy in the family and earn world sport’s most successful siblings a remarkable 13th Wimbledon singles crown in 17 years.

“I’ve played a lot of finals here. It’s been a blessing,” Williams said.

“I couldn’t have asked for more, but I’ll ask for one more. One more win would be amazing. It’s not a given, but I’m going to give it my all.”

The five-time champion plans to lean on her seven-times champion sister for advice on how to stop Muguruza.

“I definitely will ask her. I’m sure she’s going to give me hopefully some things that will make a difference for me in the match,” Williams said.

Already the oldest grand slam finalist since 37-year-old Martina Navratilova lost the 1994 Wimbledon decider to Muguruza’s coach Conchita Martinez, Williams can also crown one of tennis’s greatest comebacks on Saturday.

An eighth career major on Saturday would crown one of tennis’s greatest comebacks after the former world No.1 was diagnosed with the debilitating Sjogrens Syndrome in 2011 and plummeted down the rankings.

“There were definitely some issues. I had a lot of issues,” Williams said.

“This year has been amazing in terms of my play, playing deep into the big events actually.

“Of course I’m excited about being again in another final. I’ll try to take it a step further.”

Muguruza swept past unseeded Slovak Magdalena Rybarikova 6-1 6-1 in her semi-final, one of the most one-sided in the 131 championships stretching back to 1877.

The Spaniard lost 6-4 6-4 to Serena in the title match two years ago before turning the tables on the 23-times major winner to land her maiden grand slam title at last year’s French Open.

Now the 23-year-old has the opportunity to complete an historic grand slam final double over the sport’s greatest-ever sister act.


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