Serena Williams has avenged last year’s Wimbledon final defeat by sister Venus to claim the grass-court major for the third time.
The 27-year-old, who also beat her older sibling in winning in 2002 and 2003, triumphed 7-6 (7-3) -2 with a powerful display on Center Court on Saturday to celebrate American Independence Day. Defending champion Venus, who was seeking her sixth Wimbledon title, matched her sister for intensity in the opening set but fell away badly after losing the tie-break. She saved four match-points against her own serve in the final game before finally capitulating. Serena clinched her 11th Grand Slam title and now holds three of the four, with only the French Open — which she has won only once, in 2002 — missing from her current collection. “It feels so amazing, I feel so blessed. I feel like I shouldn’t be holding the trophy, like I can’t believe I won and not Venus. It hasn’t settled in that I won yet,” she said on being presented with the trophy. “Today she was too good,” said 29-year-old Venus. “She had answers for everything, she played the best tennis today. I don’t think the loss has set in yet because I’m still smiling.”
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The sisters have now won eight of the last 10 titles at SW19, while Serena is 11-10 ahead in career meetings with Venus, but more importantly 6-2 in majors. The first set went with serve as the players treated the crowd to some superb rallies and powerful groundstrokes. Second seed Serena crucially saved two break-points in the eighth game as Venus sent a vital forehand long when the court was wide open for a winner. In the tie-break, Serena earned a mini-break to go 3-1 ahead and took a 6-2 advantage before finally clinching the set with a superb lob over the head of third seed Venus to the back of the court. The second set went with serve until the sixth game, when Venus — seeking to become the first woman to win three titles in a row at Wimbledon since Steffi Graf in 1991-93 — served up a double-fault to go 4-2 down.
Serena then comfortably held serve before an epic final game that went to deuce as Venus desperately tried to stay in the match, ultimately handing her sister the crown when she netted a backhand. The pair will be seeking to win a fourth women’s doubles title later on Saturday when they face Australia’s Samantha Stosur and Rennae Stubbs.