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All-Williams Wimbledon Final is all Venus

All-Williams Wimbledon Final is all Venus

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For Christopher CLAREY
Published: July 6, 2008

Wimbledon, England - Sisters of life and doubles partners later in the afternoon, Venus and Serena Williams put most of the samples for almost two hours on Saturday at Wimbledon, smacking serves and ground strokes in each other's direction with a vengeance and a precision that has often been lacking in their previous family reunions.
On to the next point
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Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

Venus Williams hugged Serena after defeating her 7-5, 6-4, to win his fifth Wimbledon singles title. More photos'
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Venus Williams rebounded from a slow start to win her second straight Wimbledon title and fifth over all, to defeat her sister Serena, 7-5, 6-4. More Photos>

It had been five years since they squared off in a Grand Slam singles final, and the long wait produced one of their most consistently intense and entertaining games despite the gusty conditions, which often made Centre Court feel more as the front tyres on a ship.

But there is still no doubt, Williams sister has the best record in Wimbledon.

Despite a dramatic start from Serena and Venus withstood the pressure and gradually introduced her long-limbed presence on her favorite tennis court. Her 7-5, 6-4 victory gave her a fifth Wimbledon singles title, leaving Serena with two.

"I can not believe it is five, but when you are in the final against Serena Williams, five seems so far away from the first point," Venus said in her postmatch remarks to the crowd. "She played so awesome. It was really a task to beat her."

Although Serena hugged her older sister on the net and was responsive during the ceremony, this failure was clearly a major blow. Serena has worked itself into fine form this season, but she has not won a Grand Slam singles title since her surprise run at the 2007 Australian Open.

"I do not think I am pleased with the way I played today," Serena said. "For me, there is nothing to be convinced."

Serena was feeling cheerier by the end of the night, after she and Venus won their third women's doubles title here by beating Lisa Raymond of the United States and Samantha Stosur of Australia, 6-2, 6-2.

This Wimbledon was a Williams revival yes, but it is true that most crucial was the singles. "I had a feeling that they were finally come to play a very good final," the nine-time Wimbledon singles champion Martina Navratilova said. "Today was fantastic tennis."

Serena beat Venus in their previous Wimbledon finals in 2002 and 2003. But the record books now make it clear that the All England Club is more Venus's stamping ground than her. It was Venus's second straight title and her third in four years, but it was number five that popped into her head after she had secured the fight on a backhand errors by Serena.

"I think certainly win this tournament so many times definitely puts you in the stratosphere, to be honest, precisely because of what this tournament means," Venus said. "I think I had had this achievement in any other tournament, it would have been awesome, but not nearly the same meaning as in Wimbledon."

Venus, which was the seventh seed this year, is certainly a different player here. Although she had not reached the final of any tournament this season, she swept through the Wimbledon draw without dropping a set.

"She loves it here," said Venus's framework partner, David Witt. "She comes here, and it just seems like she just stay here and embers. She loves the grass, and of course, confidence is everything in this game."

On grass, Venus's huge serve and flat terrain stroke is pervasive. On grass, she is more inclined to put her volleys to use. At 6 feet 1 inch, she covers a large part of air and space on the web.

This ability, with her clutch serving under pressure, was one of the keys to this victory. Venus came to net 18 times and lost only 3 points, as she did.

With the wind playing nasty tricks, Venus repeatedly grabbed her department tosses out of the air instead of pressing them and often pushed far beyond the 25-second period before serving. In a release, she was told by the President umpire Carlos Ramos, that she needed to accelerate.

But Venus was all too aware that her younger sister was returning aggressively and effectively. Venus lost her serve once in each set, but she could have been spread over three or four more times. Serena failed to convert on 11 of her 13 break points as Venus often jammed her by hitting serves in her body. In the first game of the second set, Venus held after hitting the fastest serve ever recorded by a woman at Wimbledon, 129 miles per hour.

"I think that was her tactic was to serve each ball to the body, I am glad she did it because next time I know what to expect," Serena said.

"I knew what she did. It was very readable."

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* Traditional Final: Itâ € ™ s Nadal and Federer (July 5, 2008)
* Williamsesâ € ™ rivalry is close and convincing, if not Classic (July 5, 2008)
* Venus Wins latest round of Sistersâ € ™ rivalry (July 5, 2008)
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