Masterful Venus oldest Wimbledon finalist for 23 years

14-07-2017
DH

Twenty years after making her Wimbledon debut, five-time champion Williams is into her ninth final at the All England Club and her first since 2009.

The 37-year-old’s sublime display of power-hitting on Centre Court stopped Konta becoming the first British woman to make the final for 40 years and set up a title match against Spain’s Garbine Muguruza.

Venus, aiming to win her first Wimbledon title since 2008, took only 73 minutes to write her name in the history books as the oldest Wimbledon finalist since Martina Navratilova in 1994.

"I’ve played a lot of finals here. It’s been a blessing. I couldn’t ask for more, but I’ll ask for a little more! One more would be amazing," Venus said.

"I thought the crowd were so fair. Jo gave it her all. It’s a lot of pressure. I think my experience was important.

"I just tried to get one point after another and wow it was done. I’m so happy."

After losing the Australian Open final in January, the world number 11 would be the oldest Wimbledon champion in the Open era -- breaking her sister Serena’s record -- if she collects her eighth Grand Slam crown on Saturday.

Williams’ 87th match win at Wimbledon took her past Serena into sole possession of first place among active players.

With Serena at home preparing to give birth to her first child, Venus has picked up the baton and can make it a 13th Wimbledon title for the Williams family this weekend.

"I miss Serena terribly. I wish she was here. Before the match I wished she could do it for me, but I said ’no you have to do it for yourself’," Venus said.

Lifting the aptly named Venus Rosewater Dish would be an especially sweet moment for Williams, who has had to deal with a debilitating autoimmune disease for years, as well as her accidental involvement in a tragic car crash that killed an elderly man in Florida last month.

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