Serena wins, Venus doesn't
WIMBLEDON, England (AP) -- There will be no all-Williams final at Wimbledon this year. Defending champion Serena has a good chance of playing for her fourth title on Saturday, but big sister and five-time winner Venus will be a spectator this tim...
WIMBLEDON, England (AP) -- There will be no all-Williams final at Wimbledon this year.
Defending champion Serena has a good chance of playing for her fourth title on Saturday, but big sister and five-time winner Venus will be a spectator this time.
Venus was ousted in the quarterfinals Tuesday, losing 6-2, 6-3 to 82nd-ranked Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria.
Venus, seeded second, had reached the Wimbledon final in eight of the past 10 years. This time, she was undone by a slew of unforced errors and double-faults in her worst loss at Wimbledon in terms of games won -- five.
In another surprise, 21st-seeded Vera Zvonareva of Russia rallied past two-time U.S. Open winner Kim Clijsters 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 to reach her first Wimbledon semifinal, where she will face Pironkova.
Serena Williams avoided the wave of upsets, beating China's Li Na 7-5, 6-3 and moving closer to her 13th Grand Slam championship. The top-seeded Serena had 11 aces to take her tournament total to 73, breaking the record of 72 she set last year. She had 21 winners and just six unforced errors.
"I always serve well at Wimbledon, but this is the first time I've ever served this well so consistently," Serena said.
Her semifinal opponent is 62nd-ranked Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic, who saved five match points before beating Estonian qualifier Kaia Kanepi 4-6, 7-6 (8), 8-6.
"I'm very happy," said the 20-year-old Kvitova, her voice shaking. "I can't believe it. It's something incredible."
It's the first time two unseeded players have reached the women's semifinals at Wimbledon since 1999.
The Williams sisters have played each other in four Wimbledon finals, with Serena winning for the third time last year. With Venus out, Wimbledon is guaranteed at least one first-time Grand Slam finalist among the three other contenders.
With all the other big names gone, Serena Williams is the overwhelming favorite for the title.
"It's not mine to lose, it's mine to win if I can get it," she said. "There's three other people that are vying to win it. They have just as good a chance as I do."
Serena said she's not surprised the left-handed Kvitova got this far.
"She's a really tough player, especially on grass," she said.
Venus never got going against the 22-year-old Pironkova, who is the lowest-ranked player remaining in the women's draw and had never previously passed the second round in 18 previous Grand Slam appearances.
"I just didn't get enough balls in today," said Williams. "I let it spiral and didn't get any balls in.
"If there was a shot to miss, I think I missed it. ... I didn't bring my best tennis today."
Clijsters, returning to Wimbledon for the first time since 2006 after coming out of retirement, beat fellow Belgian Justine Henin on Monday and was viewed as a potential title threat.
The eighth-seeded Clijsters looked in command after sailing through the first set, but the match turned in the Russian's favor after she broke to go up 3-1 in the second.
Clijsters finished with 36 unforced errors, compared to 19 for Zvonareva.
"It's too bad I wasn't able to come up with my best at the important time in the match," Clijsters said. "She did. She was very consistent, didn't give me any easy mistakes. I gave her a few too many."