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Page last updated at 15:02 GMT, Saturday, 5 July 2008 16:02 UK

Venus triumphs in Wimbledon final

By Caroline Cheese
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

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Venus is now a seven-time Grand Slam champion

Venus Williams captured her fifth Wimbledon title by beating her sister Serena 7-5 6-4 in a high-quality final.

The 28-year-old becomes one of only four players to lift the trophy five times or more in the modern era.

Serena made a blistering start, forging a 4-2 lead, but Venus clawed her way back to 4-4 before breaking at 6-5 to snatch the first set in 53 minutes.

Both players maintained a high standard throughout in blustery conditions, but Venus had the edge when it counted.

She sealed victory when Serena sprayed a backhand into the tramlines but her celebrations were muted as she approached the net to give her sister a hug.

"I can't believe that it's five. When you're in the final against Serena, five seems so far away. She played so awesome so it was really a task," said Venus, now a seven-time Grand Slam champion.

Interview: Venus Williams

"It's unbelievable that I have won five, especially with some of the injuries that I've had. To know every time I come back I have the chance to make history... I love this place."

Venus now needs one more Wimbledon singles title to match Billie Jean King's tally of six, with only Steffi Graf (7) and Martina Navratilova (9) ahead of that among modern players.

She had lost to her younger sister in their two previous Wimbledon finals in 2002 and 2003, but Serena admitted Venus deserved victory on Saturday.

"She was a little better today. It didn't work out the way I planned," she said.

"It's a great celebration for our family, we're really happy. I've been working really hard and I'm so happy at least one of us was able to win."

606: DEBATE
Federersagod

It was Venus's first win over Serena in a Grand Slam final since the 2001 US Open, and levelled their head-to-head to 8-8.

The sisters have always struggled to produce their best against each other but their seventh Grand Slam final exceeded all expectations.

The competitive tone was set early in the way Serena took on Venus's serve from the outset and broke in the opening game thanks to a stunning backhand winner.

She pressed home the advantage by holding to love and if there remained any doubt that there would no quarter given, it was banished when Serena approached a short ball and hit it straight at her sister - with Venus somehow putting away the volley.

Serena had a point for a 4-1 lead but Venus saved it with another deft volley.

The defending champion clawed her way back to 4-4 but then had to save another two break points before the crowd witnessed the first indication that the two competitors might be related.

Serena hit a backhand which she thought was going wide, audibly admonishing herself as she did so, but the wind kept the ball in, and the umpire was forced to call a let.

Serena, though, went straight to her chair, conceding the point.

Interview: Serena Williams

The set looked likely to go to a tie-break, with both players serving impressively despite the difficult conditions.

However, Serena faltered at 5-6, allowing Venus to snatch the set after 53 minutes.

It was a set which featured 38 winners and only 13 unforced errors and the level hardly dipped in the second.

In a gripping 14-minute game, Serena broke to take a 2-1 lead but Venus, who was the more composed of the two throughout, hit straight back.

Just as in the first set, Venus got stronger as the set went on and after seeing one break point slip by at 3-2, she struck at 5-4 to end Serena's hopes.


see also
Wimbledon day 12 as it happened
05 Jul 08 |  Tennis
Wimbledon photos
05 Jul 08 |  Tennis
Briton Robson wins girls' title
05 Jul 08 |  Tennis


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