Serena not ready to concede title
WIMBLEDON, England ó When Serena Williams sits in the stands watching big sister Venus play, sheís not just cheering for her sibling.
With both in the semifinals at Wimbledon, Serena also looks for some kind of edge in case the two meet for the third time in the final Saturday at the All England Club.
iSheís an opponent,î Serena said. iYou scout your opponents.î
Before playing in the final, Serena will have to get past Zheng Jie of China, and defending champion Venus will have to beat Elena Dementieva of Russia in Thursdayís semifinals. If both Americans win, theyíll play in the Wimbledon final for the first time since 2003, when Serena beat Venus in the championship match for the second straight year.
iShe won last year,î eight-time Grand Slam champion Serena said of Venus. iBut Iím not going to sit here and say sheís the favorite when Iím still in the tournament. Thatís not me.î
Serena is 8-7 against her sister overall, but a dominant
5-1 in Grand Slam finals.
iWeíre extremely motivated by each other, win or loss, on or off the court,î said Venus, a four-time Wimbledon champ.
On Wednesday, the sisters beat Sania Mirza and Bethanie Mattek 6-4, 6-3 in the womenís doubles quarterfinals, whispering tactics to each other on occasion but otherwise keeping calm despite trailing 3-0 in the second set.
iI think the doubles gets us really amped for the singles, and the next day weíre all tuned and ready to go,î said Venus, who has won six Grand Slam doubles titles with her sister.
Dementieva, Venusí next opponent, struggled for long periods before beating Nadia Petrova in three sets in the quarterfinals. But sheís not worried about her next match.
iSheís the defending champion. Itís all pressure on her,î Dementieva said of Venus, who is 6-0 in Wimbledon semifinal matches and 56-7 overall at the grass-court tournament. iI really have nothing to lose.î
Zheng, ranked 133rd, is this yearís surprise in the womenís draw, reaching the semifinals with a run that includes a third-round upset of top-seeded Ana Ivanovic.
By beating Nicole Vaidisova, Zheng became the first Chinese player to reach the semifinals at a Grand Slam tournament, and is also the first wild-card entrant to reach the womenís semis at Wimbledon.