London: Six-time champion Serena Williams stormed into her ninth Wimbledon final in record time yesterday and will meet Angelique Kerber after the German ended Venus Williams' hopes of becoming the oldest woman in the title match in 22 years.
Serena Williams celebrates her semi-final victory over Elena Vesnina. Pics/Getty Images
Serena, bidding for a seventh Wimbledon and an Open Era record-equalling 22nd Grand Slam title, took just 48 minutes, 34 seconds, the fastest ever semi-final at the All England Club, to secure a 6-2, 6-0 win over world number 50 Elena Vesnina. But her hopes of meeting Venus for the fifth time in a Wimbledon final and ninth time at a major were shattered when fourth seed Angelique Kerber, the Australian Open champion, saw off the 36-year-old 6-4, 6-4.
Serena, playing in her 32nd Grand Slam semi-final, blasted last-four debutant Vesnina off the sun-kissed Centre Court in front of Prince William's wife Kate watching from up in the Royal Box. The American fired 11 aces, 28 winners and committed just seven unforced errors, breaking serve five times to reach her 28th Grand Slam final.
Venus Williams reacts during the ladies singles semi-final against Germany's Angelique Kerber
Vesnina won just three points off the Williams serve in the first set and none in the second. "I'm very happy. I was really focused today. We've had tough matches before and I knew she could bring it to me on this surface," said Williams, who has now defeated the Russian five times in five meetings. Despite the painfully one-sided semi-final Williams, into her third Grand Slam final of the year, insisted it had been a tough workout. "It's never easy out there, every point you have to fight for," she said.
Vesnina, who was due to face Serena again in the women's doubles later Thursday, admitted she just wasn't good enough. "I felt like I had no chance. Serena was playing really good. She was in a great mood, and her serve was working really well. She was placing it amazingly," said the Russian. In her first All England Club semi-final for seven years, Venus - the oldest woman to make the last four since Martina Navratilova in 1994 - was unable to roll back the years one more time.