Wimbledon: Serena beats Venus for title
WIMBLEDON, England ó Serena Williams kept telling herself she was facing just another foe in the Wimbledon final Saturday, just another woman who hits the ball quite hard, just another player trying to deny her a Grand Slam title.
She wasn’t facing just anyone, of course. She was playing her older sister Venus. And when the latest all-Williams final finished, when Serena wrapped up a 7-6 (3), 6-2 victory for a third Wimbledon championship and 11th major title overall, she jogged to the net with her arm extended for a handshake.
Venus pulled her close for a warm embrace, instead.
“I didn’t think about Venus at all today. I just saw her as an opponent,” said Serena, who also beat her sister in the 2002 and 2003 finals at the All England Club. “At one point, after the first set, I looked on the side of the court at the stats, and it was like ‘Williams,’ ‘Williams.’ I couldn’t figure out which was which.”
That also might have been because she was facing the only other woman who can equal her power and court coverage on grass courts. Monday’s rankings will say Serena is No. 2, and Venus No. 3 ó behind No. 1 Dinara Safina, a 6-1, 6-0 loser to the elder Williams in the semifinals ó but it is clear who the best woman in the world is at the moment.
Serena has won three of the past four Grand Slam titles and even poked a little fun at Safina, who is 0-3 in major finals.
“If you hold three Grand Slam titles, maybe you should be No. 1, but not on the WTA Tour, obviously,” Serena said. Then, alluding sarcastically to two less-than-major events won by Safina, Serena doubled over in laughter after saying: “I see myself as No. 2. That’s where I am. I think Dinara did a great job to get to No. 1. She won Rome and Madrid.”
The sisters’ father, Richard Williams, used to say his youngest daughter would be the better of the two, and the numbers back that up at this point: Serena leads in Grand Slam titles (11-7), in head-to-head matches (11-10), and in all-Williams major finals (6-2).
It was the 14th Grand Slam final for each Williams; no other active woman participated in more than four. Serena is 11-3 in such matches; Venus fell to 7-7, with all but one defeat coming against her sister.
Asked if it’s easier or harder losing to a sibling, five-time Wimbledon champion Venus said: “There’s no ‘easy’ to losing, especially when it’s so close to the crown.”