Wimbledon: Venus Williams breaks British hearts to reach her ninth SW19 final

Five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams sends sixth seed Johanna Konta packing, 6-4, 6-2 to reach her ninth Wimbledon final at Wimbledon and 16th Grand Slam final in total.

Wimbledon: Venus Williams breaks British hearts to reach her ninth SW19 final
The five-time champion will contest her ninth final at Wimbledon on Saturday (Photo by Julian Finney / Getty)
Venus Williams
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Johanna Konta

In her 20th Wimbledon appearance, five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams returns to the final at SW19 for the first time since 2009. The American ended sixth seed Johanna Konta's campaign, 6-4, 6-2 on Centre Court in front of her home crowd in the second semifinal. Williams will be contesting her second Grand Slam singles final of the year after losing to her sister Serena at the Australian Open. It is also the first time since 2003 that Williams has managed to reach multiple Grand Slam singles finals in the same year.

The 37-year-old will be the oldest Grand Slam finalist in the women's singles since Martina Navratilova back in 1994. Williams will be up against Spain's 14th seed Garbine Muguruza in the final, who will be contesting her third Grand Slam final and second in three years at Wimbledon. The five-time champion has not won a Grand Slam singles title since beating Serena in the final in 2008, and she will be searching for a sixth Wimbledon title on Saturday.

Williams wins a tight opening set

The five-time Wimbledon champion held to love in the opening game of the match but Konta was immediately under pressure in her next service game. The sixth seed trailed at 15-30 on her serve but she dug herself out of trouble with some forehand winners down the line, and a good serve out wide to level the match at 1-1.

The former world number one continued to hold onto her serve comfortably. Moreover, the British number one was under pressure once more in her second service game as she was taken to deuce. However, she got herself out of a hole and she restored parity at 2-2.

Furthermore, the seven-time Grand Slam champion was under pressure in her third service game. She committed a double fault but produced a scintillating running forehand winner down the line with Konta stuck at the net. The Brit won the next point with a backhand winner down the line with Williams at 15-30. Nevertheless, the five-time Wimbledon champion held onto her serve, and stretched out her lead to 3-2.

Williams was too good for Konta on the day (Photo by Shaun Botterill / Getty)
Williams was too good for Konta on the day (Photo by Shaun Botterill / Getty)

The opening set was proving to be a pivotal one and both players continued to hold their serves to 30 in their next service games with the former world number one leading 4-3. At tight moments of the match, the sixth seed produced some clutch serving after committing a double fault at 30-30. She produced a forehand winner down the line to clinch the game, leveling the score at 4-4.

However, the first break points of the match were created on Williams' serve as the American was irritated with the sun affecting her eyes. She committed a double fault and a swing volley unforced error in the net. The Brit produced a forehand winner down the line, the score as in her favor at 15-40. Nevertheless, the experience of the five-time champion showed as she bailed herself out of trouble with some hard forehands down the line, and a strong serve down the middle sealed the game at 5-4.

It was a missed opportunity for the sixth seed as she crumbled on her serve, and handed Williams' three set points at 0-40. She saved the first one with a good deep second serve out wide but she was unable to save the second as she committed wild backhand unforced error out of the tramlines, with the 37-year-old taking the first set 6-4. There was a silence on Centre Court when the umpire Carlos Ramos announced that Williams had claimed the first set.

Williams cruises in the second set to book a place in her 16th Grand Slam final

Breaking to take the second set meant that the former world number one had the advantage by serving first in the second set. She held to love, and Konta responded with a hold of her own leveling the second set at 1-1.

Once again, there was a slight window for a good opportunity for the sixth seed as Williams committed unforced errors, and Konta led 15-30 on her serve. Nonetheless, the 37-year-old got herself out of trouble once more with the body serve, working effectively, and she led 2-1.

The sixth seed had a very good Wimbledon and she will be a threat at the US Open (Photo by Julian Finney / Getty)
The sixth seed had a very good Wimbledon and she will be a threat at the US Open (Photo by Julian Finney / Getty)

However, the alarm bells for ringing for Britain's number one as she handed Williams' three break points at 0-40 after committing an untimely double fault. She staved off the first two break points but a crushing backhand down the line, forcing the error from Konta, handed the American the crucial break leading 3-1.

The Centre Court crowd were trying their best to keep Konta going but the seven-time Grand Slam champion was edging closer to a ninth Wimbledon final after she consolidated the break with some good serving takes a 4-1 lead.

The Brit endured three grueling three-set matches with Donna Vekic, Caroline Garcia, and Simona Halep on the way to her second Grand Slam semifinal, the fatigue was potentially setting in. She raced out to a 40-0 lead and had she held serve from that position, it would have put the pressure back on Williams' shoulders. She got taken to deuce but held serve with a backhand winner down the line.

A dejected Konta acknowledged the crowd when she was walking off Centre Court (Photo by Clive Brunskill / Getty)
A dejected Konta acknowledged the crowd when she was walking off Centre Court (Photo by Clive Brunskill / Getty)

The former world number one had the experience on her side and she was one game away from breaking British hearts. She had a commanding 5-2 lead, and Konta was serving to stay in the match. Both players were hitting the ball hard in the eighth game of the second set but Williams created three match points in total with Konta saving two. Unfortunately, she committed an untimely double fault, and Williams booked her place in the final with a forehand winner down the line, clinching the victory, 6-4, 6-2 in just one hour and 13 minutes.


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