Serena pledges to go all-out in bid for grand slam joy as prospect of all-Williams final ends

Ross McLean
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Day Ten: The Championships - Wimbledon 2016
Serena Williams needed just 49 minutes to dispatch Elena Vesnina and reach the Wimbledon final (Source: Getty)

World No1 Serena Williams has warned fellow Wimbledon finalist Angelique Kerber that she is desperate to claim her first grand slam title of the year when the duo do battle on Centre Court on Saturday.

Defending champion Serena demolished unseeded Russian Elena Vesnina yesterday to record victory in just 49 minutes and post the fastest ever victory in a Wimbledon semi-final, winning 6-2, 6-0.

Success would hand the 34-year-old a 22nd grand slam crown, moving her level with Steffi Graf’s record of 22 in the Open era, while Kerber will be biding for her second, having beaten Serena in the Australian Open final in January.

Serena has since been denied a fourth French Open title after slipping to a shock defeat against Garbine Muguruza on the clay of Paris last month, and she is adamant that second place means very little to her.

“For anyone else on this planet, it would be a wonderful accomplishment,” said the six-time Wimbledon winner. “For me, it’s holding the trophy and winning, which would make it a better accomplishment.

“For me, it’s not enough. But I think that’s what makes me different. That’s what makes me Serena.”

Chances of an all-Williams final were quashed when Venus, appearing in her first grand slam semi-final since the 2010 US Open, succumbed 6-4, 6-4 to fourth seed Kerber, who will feature in her maiden Wimbledon final.

When asked about tomorrow’s tussle with Serena, left-hander Kerber said: “I will just try to go out there like in Australia, try to show her, okay, I’m here to win the match as well. I know that I have to play my best tennis.”