All-sister final moves step closer as Serena and Venus Williams hit their Wimbledon stride

 
Ross McLean
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Serena Williams remained on course for a 22nd grand slam title (Source: Getty)

World No1 Serena Williams has declared her continuing admiration for elder sister Venus as a fifth Wimbledon final between the pair moved a step closer after both progressed to the tournament’s last four.

Seven-time Wimbledon champion Serena boosted her chances of a record-equalling 22nd grand slam title by beating Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 6-4, and will now face Elena Vesnina on Thursday for a place in the final.

Eighth seed Venus, 36, dispatched unseeded Yaroslava Shvedova 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 to become the oldest grand slam semi-finalist for 22 years. Germany’s Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber lies in wait in the next round.

It will be five-time champion Venus’s first appearance in a Wimbledon semi-final since 2009, while she has suffered health and injury problems since her last grand slam win in 2008, strength which has influenced Serena.

“It just means she has a lot of perseverance,” said Serena. “She’s a real fighter. Like I always say, it’s super inspiring. It’s really great. With everything she’s been through, it’s built a ton of character in her.”

Victory over Shvedova propelled Venus into her first grand slam semi-final since the 2010 US Open, while she believes a fairytale success in Saturday’s final on Centre Court would provide suitable ammunition for the scriptwriters.

“Real life is what Hollywood is based on, so hey, let’s do it,” she said. “It’s been a journey, but it’s made me stronger.”