Evergreen Venus Williams beats Jelena Ostapenko to enter Wimbledon 2017 semis

Venus Williams, 37, brushed aside French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko, who is 17 years younger than her, 6-3, 7-5 to enter Wimbledon 2017 semis.

tennis Updated: Jul 12, 2017 10:18 IST
Wimbledon 2017,Wimbledon,Venus Williams
Venus Williams beat Jelena Ostapenko 6-3, 7-5 to enter Wimbledon 2017 semis. (Twitter )

Venus Williams handed out another lesson to one of Wimbledon’s young upstarts when she beat Jelena Ostapenko 6-3, 7-5 on Tuesday to become the oldest women’s semi-finalist in 23 years.

The five-time champion, who turned 37 last month, tamed the big-hitting Latvian with a rock-solid performance under the Centre Court roof, winning with something to spare.

(Read | Wimbledon 2017: Andy Murray, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic eye semi-final berths)

Williams, who had already disposed of a 21-year-old and two teenagers en route to her 38th grand slam quarter-final, barely flinched against the 20-year-old French Open champion whose magnificent 11-match winning run in majors came to an end.

To put the age gap between the two players in perspective, the American star had won her first singles grand slam at Wimbledon in 2000, when Ostapenko was just three years of age.

The American, who must scroll back to the 2008 Wimbledon for her seventh, and most recent, grand slam singles title, broke Ostapenko’s serve in the second game and was untroubled in taking the opener in 29 minutes.

She sealed it when her 13th-seeded opponent swished at thin air on an attempted forehand service return.

(Read | Wimbledon 2017: Garbine Muguruza beats Svetlana Kuznetsova, enters semi-finals)

Ostapenko was subdued as Williams secured an early break in the second set, although she got a helping hand back into the match when Williams double-faulted to drop serve.

That had the effect of lighting the Ostapenko fuse and she began to look threatening as she held serve to love with an ace to move 4-3 ahead on a gloomy Centre Court.

(Read | Wimbledon 2017: Novak Djokovic eases past Adrian Mannarino into last eight)

Williams had to serve to stay in the second set at 4-5 and was relieved to see an Ostapenko return land narrowly wide at 30-30 before squaring the set.

Ostapenko felt the pressure in the next game when a hurried forehand into the net gave Williams the break and the veteran needed no second invitation, holding serve to love to claim victory.

First Published: Jul 11, 2017 21:23 IST