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Page last updated at 17:54 GMT, Thursday, 3 July 2008 18:54 UK

Venus powers into Wimbledon final

By Caroline Cheese
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

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Venus Williams treated Centre Court to an impromptu victory dance

Venus Williams reached her seventh Wimbledon final in fine style, beating Elena Dementieva 6-1 7-6 (7-3).

Dementieva was seeded higher than her opponent but appeared overawed on Centre Court and struggled desperately on serve in the first set.

But from 2-0 down in the second set, the Russian fought her way back into contention with some ferocious hitting.

Defending champion Williams was too strong in the tie-break though and goes on to face sister Serena on Saturday.

"It's so exciting to be in the semi-finals," Venus told BBC Sport.

"She's a very similar player to me so I knew I had to do what we both do a little bit better.

"I had the early break and I was a little disappointed I didn't hold onto that but what's important is I managed to hold my own serve from then on."

Venus has won the title four times, but lost to her sister in the other two finals she has reached.

In a later news conference, she took offence to a question about the outcome of Saturday's showdown between siblings being predetermined.

Venus bristles at suggestion of collusion

"I'm extremely professional in everything that I do on and off the court," Venus said. "So any mention of that is extremely disrespectful to who I am, what I stand for, and my family."

In Thursday's match, Venus's serve was particularly impressive and Dementieva could only win 10 points when the American landed her first serve.

The seventh seed made a near-perfect start, racing to a 4-0 lead, and Dementieva had to save two break points before she held serve for the first time.

But Williams wrapped up the set in 38 minutes and when she took a 2-0 lead in the second, a hushed crowd sensed a humiliation.

But Dementieva, 26, finally found the range with her groundstrokes and engaged in some brutal rallies with the defending champion.

The Russian, roared on by the crowd, broke back through an extremely fortunate net cord and stayed with Williams until the tie-break.

But the unforced errors returned to haunt her and Williams sealed victory in one hour and 42 minutes.


see also
Wimbledon photos
03 Jul 08 |  Tennis
Wimbledon day 10 as it happened
03 Jul 08 |  Tennis
Chinese revel in Zheng success
02 Jul 08 |  Tennis


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