Australian Open 2017: Venus Williams Seeks Title Win Over "Super Awesome" Sister Serena

Venus Williams has the chance to deny her younger sister Serena a place in tennis history when the pair face off in a grand slam final for the first time in seven years on Saturday.

A win would be a "beautiful" thing for 36-year-old Venus.

It is a match she was not sure she would be physically capable of playing, after being forced to withdraw from a tournament in Auckland with an arm injury.

But it is one she is desperate to win, against a "super awesome" opponent.

"I don't think there's necessarily anything to exploit. It's just about building a point that works for you, that's going to work for me," said Venus of Serena, after beating Coco Vandeweghe 6-7, 6-2, 6-3.

"Every point's going to be a little different. She doesn't have too many weaknesses.

"It's not a given. I'm going to do what I can to earn it. I'm not thinking about, 'Oh, what would it be like to win?

"I'm thinking about, What do I have to do to earn that? That's my mentality right now.

"Honestly, I probably just need to continue playing like I'm playing."

The Williams will play their ninth grand slam final - and their first in more than seven years - after both won through in Thursday's semi-finals.

Venus Williams came from a set down to defeat Coco Vandeweghe, while Serena dominated Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in the following match.

Sidelined for considerable time by injury and an autoimmune illness, 36-year-old Venus said she would meet the "best competitor in the game" on Saturday.

But she added: "I don't think I'm chump change either, you know. I can compete against any odds. No matter what, I get out there and I compete.

"So it's like two players who really, really can compete, then also they can play tennis. Then, okay, won't be an easy match.I know that it won't be easy.

"You have to control yourself, then you also have to hopefully put your opponent in a box. This opponent is your sister, and she's super awesome. It's wonderful."

Serena has a 6-2 record against her sister - who she has beaten in seven of their last eight encounters - in grand slam finals.

Their last major final was Wimbledon 2009, where Serena denied Venus a third consecutive title.

They have played one Australian Open final against each other, in 2003, when Serena won a three-set match in what Venus remembered as a "battle royale."

"It was so intense. I just couldn't climb on top her that day," she said. She was so good."

Serena will go into the history books should she win her seventh Australian title, with a 23rd Open era grand slam victory to make her the single most successful player of all-time.

She is currently tied with Steffi Graf on 22.

Venus Williams was far stronger on serve than Vandeweghe, able to get considerably more into play than her younger opponent.

After breaking Williams in the first game of the match Vandeweghe was unable to do so again for the rest of the match, winning just one of 13 break points for the match.

She was broken in the first game of the second and third sets, with Williams winning five of the nine break points she set up.

Williams had to play a more defensive game than she had originally set out to play, to deal with the barrage of big shots coming from Vandeweghe.

Her 6-7, 6-2, 6-3 win was her second in two match-ups against the 25-year-old playing in her first major semi-final.

Having set a goal at the start of the year to reach that point as well as make at least one other quarter-final, the American said she would now need to set some new markers.

"I'm very happy with starting the year this way, putting validation to the hard work that I've put in in the off-season, the sacrifices, all the good stuff like that," said Vandeweghe.

"But, you know, at the same time I'm not satisfied. Like I said, I mean, there's a disappointment factor because I'm not satisfied. I think that's a good thing."(SMH)

 



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