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Venus Williams
"I think I played very well"
 real 56k

banner Thursday, 5 July, 2001, 16:11 GMT 17:11 UK
Williams powers into final
Williams was in awesome form
Awesome Williams destroyed Davenport's hopes
Venus Williams (US) beat Lindsay Davenport (US) 6-2 6-7 (1/7) 6-1

Reigning champion Venus Williams powered into the Wimbledon final with a hard-fought win over Lindsay Davenport.

In a re-run of the 2000 final, big-hitter Williams again emerged the triumphant American, this time winning in three sets.

Williams breezed through the first set, lost the second in a tie-break, and eased to victory in the third.

She will meet Belgian teenager Justine Henin, who earlier ended Jennifer Capriati's Grand Slam dream, in Saturday's final.

I played very well - I was very confident in my game
  Semi-final winner Venus Williams

After sealing the win, Williams breathed a sigh of relief and waved jubilantly at the Centre Court crowd.

Williams said afterwards she was satisified with her performance.

"I think I played very well, although I lost serve a couple of times," she said.

Second seed Williams, whose sister Serena was knocked out by Capriati in the quarter-finals, came out firing against the 1999 winner Davenport.

With serves approaching a top speed of 120mph, Williams had an early edge over the third seed.

Williams broke her opponent's serve twice as she took the first set 6-2.

An early break put Williams clear in the second set. Davenport broke back and almost went clear, but could not make a break point count at 4-4.

Lindsay Davenport lost in three sets to Venus Williams
Davenport lost in three sets

On Davenport's serve, Williams saw a match point go begging in the 10th game of the second set.

Davenport forced a tie-break, as she did in last year's final, but this time had the upper hand with a 7/1 advantage to clinch the second set.

It was a different story in the third, with Williams securing two early breaks.

And although she lost the set's fourth game on her serve, Williams broke again on the way to clinching the match.

Earlier, eighth seed Henin defied painful blisters on her feet to reach her first Grand Slam final with a remarkable comeback to beat Capriati in three sets.

Williams said she is even keener than last year to triumph this time round, but knows her final opponent will be a tough proposition.

"She's a good player, a very good player, and she seems to like playing on grass," said Williams of Henin.

"You have to be playing very well to beat Jennifer Capriati in 2001."

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