Looks Like Another All-Williams Final

  • The Arena
  • Emma Carmichael
  • July 1, 2009, 10:48 AM

It was another day at the office for Venus and Serena Williams.

The office, of course, being the grass courts at Wimbledon, where the sisters have dominated the rest of the competition. There have been few shockers in the women’s field at Wimbledon this year—the top four seeds have all reached the semifinals—but the way both Venus and Serena have played even has tennis great and NBC commentator John McEnroe in awe.

“Perfect play,” he marveled, as Serena set up serve on match point against Victoria Azarenka today. “Better than good—great.” You know you’re doing well when McEnroe is reduced to two- and four-word sentences in order to praise you (that dude likes to talk... and yell).

Let’s look at what Venus and Serena have done on grass since they started playing professionally in 1994 and 1997, respectively. The elder Venus has gone 64-9 and Serena is an equally impressive 50-8. And when they play together on grass, as doubles partners? They’re 20-1. That makes the girls from L.A. a combined 134-18 on grass throughout their careers. If you’re ever slated to play against a Williams sister, I suggest you pack a lawnmower.

All of those numbers really add up to a level of swagger and poise that no opponents seem able to match. Venus, especially, plays with a calm elegance that tends to mentally shake her opponent. It makes her that much more unbeatable. And since 2007, she has been just that, a perfect 18-0 on grass courts. She is the two-time reigning Wimbledon champion, and she’s playing like she has no other option but a three-peat this year.

Venus has won all of her matches in this year’s tournament in straight sets. She has outscored her opponents 54-18 in games, an edge that makes for quick tennis. Her four complete matches have averaged about 75 minutes in length. She’s hardly been breaking a sweat!

“Do I feel invincible?” Venus said to reporters after knocking off Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1, 6-2 in the quarterfinals this afternoon. “I’d like to say yes, but I really do work at it.”

The reason Venus makes it look so easy is she simply knows how to dismantle her opponents on grass. She’s one of the more aggressive net players on the women’s tour, and with her height (6’1”) and her quickness, she dominates there: through her five matches at Wimbledon, she’s won 72 of her 101 points at the net.

Serena, meanwhile, has found a real groove with her first serve. Through her first five matches, in which she held a 60-25 game advantage, she won on about 83 percent of her first serves. Basically, Venus and Serena have no reason to guess their Williams swagger right now. If they keep playing “the Williams Way,” as their father Richard coined it, they’ll play each other in the finals on Saturday.

To get there, Venus has to go through the current world Number 1, Dinara Safina, and Serena must take on Elena Dementieva. Venus is 2-1 against Safina in their career match-ups, but they have never played on grass. And Serena has a 5-3 career edge over Number 4 Dementieva. They played once before on grass, at Wimbledon in 2003, and Serena won 6-2, 6-2.

Another Williams Wimbledon final is the fans’ ideal scenario, as both sisters seem to be at the top of their game right now. They’re also currently deadlocked in their career head-to-head, with 10 wins apiece. They’ve played each other three times before in Wimbledon finals: Serena won in 2002 and 2003, and Venus beat her last year 7-5, 6-4.

Venus was in the stands when Serena won today, clapping with pride at her sister’s win. But she was also scouting her potential finals opponent. It’s true that a Williams sister will probably win Wimbledon this year. The question is, who will play the Williams Way better?

So which Williams sister is more likely to take it all? CLICK HERE and let me know!

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