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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » It's an all-Williams final again

It's an all-Williams final again

July 04, 2008 00:42 IST

Twice winner Serena Williams reached the Wimbledon final for the fourth time and third against sister Venus on Thursday with a 6-2, 7-6 victory over Chinese wildcard Zheng Jie on Centre Court.

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Serena, who had won their only previous meeting in the first round here in 2004, won the first set in 28 minutes after a first break of serve in the opening game and a 37-minute rain delay with the score 5-2.

Zheng, 24, made a dramatic improvement in the second set which reached 5-5, after an exchange of breaks in mid-set and the Chinese leading 40-30 on her serve when there was a second rain delay lasting 82 minutes.

The set went into a tiebreak after Serena saved a break point in the 12th game. Serena set up match point with a thundering delivery then took it when Zheng double faulted.

Venus Williams, champion four times, reached her seventh final with a 6-1, 7-6 win over Russian Elena Dementieva in the first semi-final.

A big difference between the players was the powerful Serena serve which allowed Zheng, the first Chinese and first wildcard to reach the semi-finals, only three points in the American's first six service games.

In the sixth game of the second set, the Chinese earned one break point which she won with a brilliant low return across court to move 4-2 ahead.

Serena broke right back, pushing the 133rd-ranked opponent to 0-40 then taking the point when Zheng hit the American's return into the net.

Seeming to play almost on tip-toes to make up for her height handicap and exquisitely balanced when she made shots on the run, the 1.65-metre tall Zheng moved Serena about the court with her rasping drives and two-fisted backhands.

The excitement returned at once after the second rain delay with Zheng's service going to deuce six times and her saving two break points before taking a 6-5 lead which helped her reach the tiebreak.

However, the 26-year-old Serena showed all her power in the tiebreak, including three aces, and soon reached match point at 6-5. Zheng's resistance ended when she double faulted, bringing down the curtain on a match that lasted one hour and 25 minutes but took 3:24 to conclude.

"I was ready to go three sets but I felt I didn't want to so I got in some big serves," Serena said.

"I'm happy to be back in a grand slam final, I love it."

Asked if she and her sister would discuss Saturday's final, she added: "(Venus) is a tough opponent, the toughest I've played here (but) we're going to stop talking to each other until the final."

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