Friday at Wimbledon was highlighted by Serena Williams reaching another Grand Slam final and for the 9th time at the All-England Club. It was here in 2015 that the women’s world no.1 player scored her last victory in a Grand Slam tournament. In a one-sided contest, Serena saw off the unseeded Russian Elena Vesnina. To equal Steffi Graf’s record of 22 Grand Slam wins, Serena will have to overcome her Australian Open final’s conqueror Germany’s Angelique Kerber. On her part, Kerber denied an all-Williams final, when she defeated Serena’s elder sister Venus in straight sets in the other semifinal. In women’s doubles, the no.1 seeded Indo-Swiss defending champion pair of Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis went out of the reckoning after losing to the Hungarian-Kazakhstani pair of Timea Babos and Yaroslava Shvedova on Thursday. The pair of Leander Paes and Martina Hingis also lost their third round mixed doubles match.
Serena Williams sailed into the Wimbledon final with an easy victory over Russia’s Elena Vesnina, a most unlikely semifinal entrant in years. After winning her sixth Wimbledon final last year, Serena has reached two Grand Slams final out of the last three. But every time, she was stopped at the last hurdle. Now she has another chance for the 22nd Grand Slam win that will bring her at level with the celebrated German Steffi Graf. On Saturday, Serena squares up with Angelique Kerber, the woman, who denied her victory at the Australian Open. Serena also lost in the French Open final, when Spain’s Garbine Muguruza defeated her in the championship match. On Thursday, Serena proved too good for Russia’s Elena Vesnina. It wasn’t much of a contest with Serena needing just 48 minutes to overpower Vesnina. The score-line of 6-2, 6-0 is enough to tell the story.
The Wimbledon crowd, however, was denied a family fun final between the sisters. Angelique Kerber ensured that by defeating 5-time Wimbledon winner Venus Williams 6-4, 6-4. Venus fought hard but Kerber held the edge on most occasions. With her vastly improved level of play, the German too has her chances of winning the second Grand Slam of the year. But Kerber knows, like everyone else, that on her day, Serena could be difficult to beat.
Last year’s women’s doubles champions India’s Sania Mirza and Switzerland’s Martina Hingis suffered a tame loss in the quarterfinal. Sania/Hingis had won the last three Grand Slam titles at Wimbledon, the US Open and the Australian Open and they cherished their fourth Grand Slam victory together in London. That didn’t happen since their opponents Hungary’s Timea Babos and Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova played much better tennis on Thursday. Sania/Hingis made a series of unforced errors in the first set and lost at 2-6. In the second set, they had a somewhat improved game and held three break points in the third game. But Babos/Shvedova leveled things up and raced to a 5-1 lead. The Indo-Swiss pair tried again to comeback in the match and won the next three games but the Hungarian/Kazakh combo finally won at 6-2, 6-4. India’s challenge at Wimbledon 2016 ended with Leander Paes also losing in mixed doubles third round. Martina Hingis and Paes were last year’s champions but couldn’t progress further this year. They won the first set 6-3, against Finland’s Henri Kontinen and Britain’s Heather Watson but lost the next two 3-6, 2-6 and went tumbling out of Wimbledon.