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Serena lifts Wimbledon title
Published on 4 Jul. 2009 11:41 PM IST
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Serena Williams ended her sister’s recent dominance at Wimbledon with a straight-sets victory over Venus that gave her a third Wimbledon title. The 27-year-old won 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 to regain the title she won in 2002 and 2003, and end five-time champion Venus’s hopes of a third straight win. It was the fourth time the sisters had met in a Wimbledon final. Serena has now won 11 Grand Slam titles and holds the Wimbledon, Australian and US Open crowns. After a brief rain shower, Saturday’s final began on time and in bright sunshine on Centre Court, ruling out any need for the retractable roof to be used. The sisters went into the match with a 10-10 record, but with five titles to Serena’s two and having powered through the draw without dropping a set, Venus began as a marginal favourite. I feel like I shouldn’t be holding the trophy, like I’m holding Venus’s trophy However, the defending champion was still wearing the heavy strapping on her left leg that she had repeatedly insisted was not an issue throughout the fortnight. Early matches between the pair were often disappointing as nerves and sibling concern took the edge off two usually fearsome competitors, but recent matches had been better, notably last year’s Wimbledon final. The latest contest was dominated by serve, and Serena was the first to falter when a forehand into the net brought up 15-40 and two break points for Venus. Serena, the champion in 2002 and 2003, powered down a huge second serve to save the first and Venus went long with an attempted pass on the second as the chance disappeared. With both players winning around 90% of the points on their first serve it was no surprise that the opening set came down to a tie-break, and it was Serena who got the early advantage with a sweeping forehand winner to change around at 4-2. A thumping Serena cross-court forehand then left Venus sprawled on the grass behind the baseline and she took the set with a beautiful backhand lob, celebrating with a scream and a fist pump that illustrated just how much she wanted to regain the title. It was not until the 19th game that Serena finally earned a first break point as Venus suddenly began to struggle on serve, and the elder sister handed over the initiative with a tame double-fault. Whether it was the leg injury, fatigue or just nerves, the champion’s serve had completely deserted her and two games later she slipped to 30-40 and match point, but Serena hooked a forehand return into the tramlines. She then played an unusually tame forehand with the open court gaping on her second championship point, and Venus saved a third with a solid smash. But at the fourth time of asking Serena finally regained the title after six years when her sister netted a backhand, the new champion falling to her knees in celebration after one hour 27 minutes. It is the eighth time in 10 years that a Williams sisters has lifted the Venus Rosewater Dish. “It feels so amazing, I’m so blessed,” Serena told BBC Sport. “I feel like I shouldn’t be holding the trophy, like I’m holding Venus’s trophy. “It’s named for Venus and she always wins, so it hasn’t settled in I won yet.” Venus said: “Today she was too good, she had an answer for everything. She played the best tennis today so congratulations. I don’t think the loss has set in yet because I’m still smiling. “I’ve had so many great times here and of course I’m looking forward to next year and the doubles final later. I love what I do and most of all I love playing these finals.”

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