Venus Williams can feel sister Serena fighting alongside her as she tries to keep the Wimbledon title in the family.
The sisters have won seven of the last 10 titles between them at the All-England Club, with Serena claiming five and Venus two. But Serena was unable to compete for her third success in a row as she awaits the birth of her first child back home in Florida.
Also absent is the sisters’ father, Richard, whose dream it was to see them winning Grand Slams.
“They’re definitely here with me, for sure,” said Venus after a 6-3, 7-5 win over French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in the quarter-finals.
“Even if it’s not physically. That is one thing I do know. They’re fighting right alongside me.”
Ostapenko was only a few weeks old when Williams, the oldest semi-finalist since Martina Navratilova in 1994, made her Wimbledon debut 20 years ago. The 37-year-old has not won a grand slam crown since lifting the Venus Rosewater Dish for the fifth time nine years ago. But she has been getting closer, reaching the semi-finals here 12 months ago and then losing to sister Serena in the final of the Australian Open in January.
Should she win the title on Saturday, Venus would overtake her sister as the oldest female Grand Slam singles champion in the open era.
“I love it,” she said. “I try really hard. There’s no other explanation. You do your best while you can. That’s what I’m doing. I love the challenge. I love pressure. It’s not always easy dealing with the pressure. There’s constant pressure. It’s only yourself who can have the answer for that.
Williams’ longevity has been accentuated by the age of her Wimbledon opponents, who have also included two 19-year-olds and a 21-year-old.
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