Kerber outguns Venus, to face Serena in final

London, July 7

Germany’s Angelique Kerber gate crashed the Williams sisters’ Wimbledon party when she overpowered Venus 6-4, 6-4 in the semi-finals today, setting up a mouth-watering final showdown with Serena.

The fourth seed will be aiming to become the first German woman since Steffi Graf 20 years ago to lift the Wimbledon singles crown, and to confound Serena’s efforts to equal Graf’s professional era record of 22 grand slam singles titles for the second time this year.

Left-handed Kerber had the upper hand in the baseline exchanges against eighth-seeded Venus throughout a topsy-turvy first set in which there were seven breaks of serve, moving her American opponent from side to side with fearsome drives off both wings.

Earlier, Serena thrashed unseeded Russian Elena Vesnina 6-2, 6-0 to reach a ninth Wimbledon final. The top seed and defending champion was totally dominant from the outset, sealing victory against the world No 50 in 49 minutes on a sunny Centre Court.

“It’s never easy out there and every point you have to fight for,” the 34-year-old, who lost three points on serve, said. “It’s weird, I can’t believe I’m in the finals again. I’m zero and two for (grand slam finals) this year so I want to get at least one,” she added.

Victory on Saturday would see the world No 1 draw level with Steffi Graf’s professional era record of 22 grand slam titles.