Venus, Serena Williams reach Wimbledon final |

Venus, Serena Williams reach Wimbledon final

Venus Williams of the US reacts after winning her semifinal match against Russia's Elena Dementieva on the Centre Court at Wimbledon, Thursday, July 3 , 2008. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

WIMBLEDON, England ” Five years since their last title matchup, the Williams sisters are back in the Wimbledon final with another Grand Slam championship ” and family bragging rights ” at stake.

The sisters won in straight sets Thursday to set up their seventh all-sibling final at a major and third at the All England Club.

Defending champion and four-time winner Venus beat Elena Dementieva 6-1, 7-6 (3), then two-time champ Serena overcame two rain delays and served 14 aces to down China’s Zheng Jie 6-2, 7-6 (5).

It will be the first all-Williams final at any tournament since 2003, when Serena beat her older sister in the Wimbledon title match for the second year in a row. Serena will be going for her ninth Grand Slam title; Venus her seventh.

“It’s definitely been a while,” Serena said. “We’ve been on the same side of the draw a few times. It’s good. This is a new start for us.”

Said Venus: “It’s every Williams for themself.”

Serena holds an 8-7 career edge over Venus, including 5-1 in Grand Slam finals. Since Venus won the U.S. Open in 2001, Serena has won all their major finals.

“It’s easy, especially with sibling rivalry,” said Serena, who has also reached the women’s doubles semifinals with her sister. “I personally want everything that Venus has. We’re good at this now. We just leave everything on the court. This is the finals of Wimbledon. Who doesn’t want it?”

The sisters shrugged off suggestions that their previous finals have failed to live up to expectations because they feel uncomfortable trying to beat each other.

“It’s gotten easier for me personally because I just realize that I want to win,” Serena said. “This is Wimbledon. This is a Grand Slam. This is history. We both are trying to make our mark.”

Venus overpowered the fifth-seeded Dementieva in the first set and then prevailed in an error-filled tiebreaker to improve her record to 7-0 in semifinals at Wimbledon.

“I am dying for S. Williams to get through,” said the 28-year-old Venus, who hasn’t dropped a set in five matches.

After Dementieva knocked a forehand into the net to end the 1 hour, 42 minute match, Venus skipped and hopped up and down with joy like a kid at a birthday party.

“I guess it started to set in a little bit about being in the final,” she said. “When I’m excited I always jump. That I guess will never change. I’d like to celebrate even more if I’m good enough to take

that title.”

Venus then went back out to watch her 26-year-old sister, who sat through rain breaks in both sets before cranking up her big serve, saving a set point in the second set and finishing off the 133rd-ranked Zheng to put her one win away from a ninth Grand Slam crown.

After Zheng dumped a second serve into the net on match point, Serena looked more relieved than anything to get through the match. Venus fiddled with her fingernails as she watched alongside their father, Richard, in the players’ box.

“She definitely pushed me,” Serena said of Zheng, the first Chinese player to reach a Grand Slam semifinal and first wild-card entrant to get this far at Wimbledon. “Unbelievable, and not only that she played a great game. She played like she had nothing to lose and

she didn’t.”

Richard Williams said he would fly back to the United States on Friday and doesn’t plan to watch a single point of the final on television, saying he can’t bear to watch his daughters playing against each other.

In men’s play, 32-year-old Rainer Schuettler outlasted Arnaud Clement 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (6), 6-7 (7), 8-6 in a match that lasted more than five hours over two days. The German saved a match point at 5-4 in the fifth set before pulling out a victory that sends him into the semifinals Friday against No. 2 Rafael Nadal.

The other men’s semifinal has five-time champion Roger Federer facing a resurgent Marat Safin, a former No. 1 and two-time Grand Slam champion, on Friday.

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