Venus overpowers Dementieva to reach final | sports | Hindustan Times
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Venus overpowers Dementieva to reach final

sports Updated: Jul 03, 2008 20:06 IST

Venus Williams moved to within one match of a fifth Wimbledon singles title after beating Russia's Elena Dementieva in straight sets in the semi-finals on Thursday.

The defending champion won 6-1, 7-6 (7/3) to set up a potential final date with her sister Serena, who faced Chinese wildcard Zheng Jie in the second semi-final at the All England Club.

Having steamrollered her opponent in the opening set, the elder of the Williams sisters was given a tough workout in what was a slugfest of a second set, but she always looked to have a little in reserve against an opponent making her first appearance in Wimbledon's last four.

"She is a similar player to me with a lot of power so I knew I'd have to do what we both do a little better," Williams said.

"It was important I managed to get ahead in the tiebreak and not let it go."

Williams said she would relish the prospect of a rematch with Serena, to whom she lost in the Wimbledon finals of 2002 and 2003.

"I am looking forward to that final and I am dying for S. Williams to get through. This is my seventh final and I'm looking forward to playing her for a third time in the final so I will be rooting for her."

For a player who frequently struggles with the tennis equivalent of the yips, Dementieva's decision to serve first after winning the toss was unexpected.

As it turned out, it was also unwise. Inside a minute, the Russian found herself 0-40 down, Williams claimed the break at the second attempt and that pretty much set the tone for a one-sided first set.

Dementieva, the fifth seed, gave a better account of herself in the second, rallying from 2-0 down and then matching her opponent blow for blow until the tiebreak, in which Williams was always in control, finally bringing proceedings to a halt after one hour and 41 minutes on Centre Court.