Venus storms into final

London, July 3:

Venus Williams moved to within one match of a fifth Wimbledon singles title after beating Russia’s Elena Dementieva in the semi-finals on Thursday.

The defending champion won 6-1, 7-6 (7/3) to set up a potential final date with

her sister Serena. Having steamrollered her opponent in the first set, Venus was given a tough workout in what was a slugfest of a second set, but she always looked to have a little in reserve against an opponent making her first appearance in Wimbledon’s last four.

“She is a similar to me with a lot of power so I knew I’d have to do what we both do a little better,” Williams said. “It was important I managed to get ahead in the tiebreak and not let it go.”

Williams said she would relish the prospect of a rematch with Serena, to whom she lost in the Wimbledon finals of 2002 and 2003. “I am looking forward to that final and I am dying for S Williams to get through. This is my seventh final and I’m looking forward to playing her for a third time in the final so I will be rooting for her.”

Dementieva’s decision to serve first after winning the toss was unexpected. As it turned out, it was also unwise. Inside a minute, the Russian found herself 0-40 down, Williams claimed the break at the second attempt and that pretty much set the tone for a one-sided first set.

Dementieva, the fifth seed, gave a better account of herself in the second, rallying from 2-0 down and then matching her opponent blow for blow until the tiebreak, in which Williams was always in control, finally bringing proceedings to a halt after one hour and 41 minutes on Centre Court.