Venus and Serena Williams won in straight sets Thursday to set up their third all-sister Wimbledon final and seventh Grand Slam championship matchup.
Venus is through to her seventh Wimbledon final in nine years after defeating Russia’s Elena Dementieva in straight sets – but, after making a quickfire start, she surprisingly struggled to wrap up the win.
Venus then went back out to watch her 26-year-old sister, who sat through rain breaks in both sets before cranking up her big serve, saving a set point in the second set and finishing off the 133rd-ranked Zheng to put her one win away from a ninth Grand Slam crown.
After Zheng dumped a second serve into the net on match point, Serena looked more relieved than anything to get through the match. Venus fiddled with her fingernails as she watched alongside their father, Richard, in the players’ box.
“She definitely pushed me,” Serena said of Zheng, the first Chinese player to reach a Grand Slam semifinal and first wild-card entrant to get this far at Wimbledon. “Unbelievable, and not only that she played a great game. She played like she had nothing to lose and she didn’t.
“I wanted to do more than make a Wimbledon final,” she added. “I’m just happy to be back in a Grand Slam final.”