For the first time in 9 years, the Williams sisters will play in a grand slam final against each other. Serena’s run to the final was as expected despite a number of tough matchups early on while Venus has rolled back the years to make her first slam final since the aforementioned 2009 Wimbledon loss to her sister. Check out the Serena vs Venus Head to Head matches.
After Karolina Pliskova was shocked in the semi-finals, Serena had a gift of a semi final against Mirjana Lucic Baroni. The Croatian veteran has had the tournament of her career but was outclassed as expected by Serena with the World No.2 needing just 50 minutes for her 6-2 6-1 victory. She was dominant on both sides of the game, breaking five times without facing a single break point.
Meanwhile, Venus won a hard fought three setter against Coco Vandeweghe 6-7 6-2 6-3. Vandeweghe had an impressive run to the semi finals that included wins over Angelique Kerber and Garbine Muguruza but eventually came unstuck against her fellow American. Venus broke in her first return game of the final set and ran with it the whole way, breaking once more to take the match. Playing more aggressive in the second and third proved successful for Venus as she noted after the match. “In the second, I just decided I was going to go for more (on serve). It was just really a mentality at that point. I know she’s looking for a second serve. It’s important to try not to give your opponent what they want. As the match went longer, the bigger I went on the second. Thankfully I was comfortable doing that and executing it and just going in.”
It will be Venus’ first slam final since Wimbledon 2009 and she will be looking to win her first since the Wimbledon the previous year. On both occasions she also faced her sister with both matches ending in straight sets. She is actually fairly confident in her chances of being able to defeat Serena. “Honestly, I probably just need to continue playing like I’m playing. I haven’t played badly.” she said. However, employing the same tactics won’t be as simple for her as they were in the win over Vandweghe and in previous matches. “I don’t think there’s necessarily anything (weaknesses) to exploit. It’s just about building a point that works for you, that’s going to work for me. Every point’s going to be a little different.”
With Venus being the older sister, there is no surprise that the matchup favoured her in the early years of their career as she won 5 of the first 6 meetings. Since then Serena is 15-6 including three of the last four, 8-3 in finals and 9-5 in grand slams over all. The most recent meeting was a tough three setter at the US Open in 2015 which Serena won. 18 months on and Serena will remain the heavy favourite and with slam 23 on the cards, it’s hard to see her letting this opportunity slip, especially with the opportunity to take back the No.1 spot from Angelique Kerber.
Serena Williams in straight sets