Australian Open 2017: Venus & Serena Williams to meet in ninth Grand Slam final

By | January 26, 2017

Thirteenth seed Venus, 36, beat Australian Open 2017 Live fellow American Coco Vandeweghe 6-7 (3-7) 6-2 6-3 to reach her first major final since 2009.World number two Serena, 35, saw off unseeded Croat Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-2 6-1 in the second semi-final.It would also be a seventh Australian Open victory for the younger Williams sister, while Venus hopes to win an eighth major title, first in Melbourne and first since Wimbledon in 2008.

Saturday will be their first Grand Slam final against each other since Wimbledon 2009 when Serena won in straight sets.It is unbelievable to watch Serena play tennis – the way she hits the ball and the competitor she is,” Venus Williams said after the first semi-final.”It would be a dream to see her on the opposite side of the net on Saturday.”Speaking after her win, Serena said: “I am really proud of Venus – she is atotal inspiration. I am really happy for her and to be in the final together is a dream for us.”She is my toughest opponent, no-one has ever beaten me as much as Venus.

“I feel no matter what that we have both won after all we have been through. I know a Williams is going to win this tournament.”Vandeweghe, 25, had played superbly in seeing off world number one Angelique Kerber and French Open champion Garbine Muguruza to reach the last four, but she could not maintain that level in the semi-final.The world number 35 deservedly took the first set on a tie-break but it was the experience of Williams that eventually prevailed.Williams converted four of five break points, but more importantly reduced Vandeweghe to just one from 13 as the younger American was reduced to throwing her racquet in frustration as the chances slipped by.

Two double faults handed Williams a decisive double break in the second set and the seven-time Grand Slam champion broke again at the start of the third.Vandeweghe stayed close enough to keep the pressure on, saving three match points Australian Open 2017 Live Stream before finally cracking with an error on the fourth, prompting a jubilant twirl of celebration from Williams.”Everyone has their moment in the sun. Maybe mine has gone on a little longer than other people, but I have nothing else to do,” joked Williams.Lucic-Baroni was playing her first Grand Slam semi-final for 18 years, but it only lasted 50 minutes as Serena Williams dominated in her 34th major semi-final.

It was their third meeting but their first since 1998, when the pair were teenagers.The story of Lucic-Baroni’s comeback from a series of personal issues that saw her career all but finished had captured the attention, and she ended the tournament by taking a selfie with the crowd on her way out of Rod Laver Arena.”Mirjana is an inspiration and deserves all the credit today,” said Williams. “To get so far after all she has been through inspires me and I wanted to give her all the congratulations.”It is great to see her out here. I was rooting for her through the whole tournament.”

Williams will return on Saturday to try to make history once again by surpassing Steffi Graf and winning a 23rd major singles title.Once she broke Lucic-Baroni’s serve in the third game there was only going to be one winner, runs of five straight games and six straight games bringing her each set.”The serve was a little better today. I want it to be a little better. I knew it needed to be good because Mirjana is a great returner,” added Williams.Venus Williams is into the 2017 Australian Open final, besting unseeded American CoCo Vandeweghe in a hotly-contested three-set match. Venus dropped the first set by a narrow tiebreak but cruised in both the second and third sets.

Williams now has a chance to win her first-ever Australian Open title. She previously made the finals once, all the way back in 2003.The first set was incredibly close and went to a tiebreak. Vandeweghe served up five aces and won 60 percent of her first serves in the set. Ultimately, she edged out Williams in the tiebreak.But the second set was all Williams. While Vandeweghe won a set where she converted on just one of four break points, Williams gave herself a pair of break attempts and won both of them. Vandeweghe played some great tennis in that second set, and earned seven break point opportunities.Unfortunately, she converted on none of those break points. She also had 16 unforced errors to Williams’s eight in the second set alone.

The third set saw Vandeweghe serve first, and Williams broke her right away. Williams then held serve to take an immediate 2-0 lead in the set. Vandeweghe, to her credit, went on to win her next two service games, but Williams also held Australian Open Live Stream firm on hers and was up, 3-2.Williams held serve, Vandeweghe held serve, and then Williams held and finished off with a break of Vandeweghe to seal the set and a spot in the finals.Williams will now await the results of the other semifinal, which features her sister, Serena Williams, taking on Mirjana Lucic-Baroni. Serena is the second seed, while Lucic-Baroni is an unseeded player.

It’s an unfortunate end to the tournament for Vandeweghe, who, on her way to the semifinals, took out both Angelique Kerber, the top seed, and Garbine Muguruza, the seventh seed.Serena Williams already feels like Saturday’s final against big sister Venus will be the best moment of her career. Win – and make history – or lose.Williams will become the most successful player in the Open era should she leave the Australian Open with her 23rd major title.Venus Williams has been sidelined by numerous injuries throughout her 20-year career, as well as a serious autoimmune illness.

“I was always stressed out and worried if she would be okay and be able to play,” said Serena, after ending Mirjana Lucic-Baroni’s dream tournament in just 50 minutes, winning 6-2, 6-1.She can remember feeling “stressed out and worried” for her sister, and amazed to see her come back and start winning again.After everything that Venus has been through with her illness and stuff, I just can’t help but feel like it’s a win-win situation for me,” she said.I was Australian Open 2017 Live there for the whole time. We lived together. I know what she went through.It’s the one time that I really genuinely feel like no matter what happens, I can’t lose. She can’t lose. It’s going to be a great situation. The final will be the sisters’ first major final since 2009, when Serena denied Venus a third straight Wimbledon title with a three-set win. [Source]