Venus Trounces Konta on Centre Court of the All-England ClubJuly 14, 2017
Venus Trounces Konta on Centre Court of the All-England Club
Will Play Muguruza in the Ladies Singles Final Saturday Morning
Another Brit falls on Centre Court of the All-England Club to a member of the 2017 Washington Kastles, this time at the hands of star Kastle Venus Williams.
In front of 3-time Grand Slam singles champion Virginia Wade yesterday, #10 seed Venus Williams defeated British #1, and world #6, Johanna Konta, 6-4, 6-2, to earn her first final appearance in the Ladies' Singles Championship since 2009. Wade, who claimed Great Britain's last Wimbledon singles crown in 1977, observed the contest from the Royal Box, amid an arena full of excited Britons, eager to see their nation's best female player since Wade advance to the final round.
Venus didn't hold back and neither did Konta.
"Jo gave it her all," Venus said after the match. "I think my experience was important."
The first set was tight. Both players dominated with their serves and ferocious groundstrokes and stayed competitively on serve, until Konta suddenly found herself serving, down 4-5, to stay in the set. This is a natural time for any player to feel nerves. When the match is close and both players feel tested, it often becomes a contest of who blinks first. And the pressure naturally falls on the player who served second in the match to keep holding to stay in the set.
"It's a lot of pressure," Venus said.
On the amplified stage of Centre Court, the Brit must have been feeling it. She lost the first point of the game, which it the tell tale sign. It revealed just enough weakness for Venus to pounce on her opponent. She won the next two points quick, forcing errors, and after one loose point, closed out any hope of Konta taking the first set.
From that point forward, everything seemed to flow the five-time singles champ's direction. Up 2-1, Venus broke early by attacking Konta's shaken serve. The British #1 double-faulted at love-30 to give Venus three break points, and though Konta saved two, she couldn't muster a third to bring it back to deuce. Venus overpowered her with one blow to stretch the lead 3-1, which was the story of the match.
In front of tennis royalty, Venus repeatedly struck Konta with a fuselage of shots off both wings, that hit the Brit hard...and rarely seemed to miss. Konta threw her might into every shot, but it could not sustain the pace and shotmaking necessary to defeat the legendary Wimbledon champion, who is on the hunt for her sixth Wimbledon singles crown..
It took Venus three match points, and a glistening down-the-line forehand winner, to break Konta for the third time in the match and land her ninth Wimbledon final appearance
"I just tried to get one point after another and, wow!" Williams said afterward. "It was done. I'm so happy."
The world's most highly-coveted women's singles prize, the Venus Rosewater Dish is now within reach.
Based on her performance throughout the year, and her stellar performances up to this point at the All-England Club, Venus is now the favorite to win the tournament. All the momentum is behind her. The reigning champion, her pregnant sister, Serena is out of contention. In fact, after her win over Konta, Venus surpassed her younger sister in total match wins at Wimbledon, 87-86, more wins than any other current player.
Her opponent in the final is Spanish world #15 Garbine Muguruza, who beat Slovakia's Magdalena Rybarikova in the other semifinal, 6-1, 6-1. The Spaniard is a Grand Slam singles champion, but her sole title, the 2016 French Open, was won on clay. Venus leads their career head-to-head 3-1. And although the one loss is also the most recent, it occurred earlier this summer in Rome, also on clay, Venus's least effective surface. The grass on Centre Court at the All-England Club is an entirely different story.
"I've played a lot of finals here," Williams acknowledged. "It's been a blessing. I couldn't ask for more, but I'll ask for a little more! One more would be amazing."
The last time Venus won the Wimbledon Singles Championship was in 2008.
Watch the final LIVE this Saturday at 9 a.m. EST on ESPN. Encore coverage begins on ABC at 3 p.m.