Serena Williams Beats Venus Williams to Win Women's Wimbledon Title

Serena Williams, right, embrace her sister Venus, after defeating her in the women's singles final on Centre Court.
Serena Williams, right, embrace her sister Venus, after defeating her in the women's singles final on Centre Court. (Kirsty Wigglesworth - AP)
By Liz Clarke
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, July 5, 2009

WIMBLEDON, England, July 4 -- It's rare to see Venus Williams telegraph defeat on Wimbledon's Centre Court, where she has triumphed so many times.

But masterful serving and ruthless groundstrokes from her younger sister, Serena, who competed without regard to family ties, had Venus doing just that in Saturday's all-Williams Wimbledon singles final.

This year, it was Serena who raised the prized Venus Rosewater Dish after reducing Venus, a five-time Wimbledon champion, to a tentative, error-prone also-ran.

"It feels so amazing," Serena said after the 7-6 (7-3), 6-2 victory. "I'm so blessed. I can't believe I'm holding it, and Venus isn't. She always wins!"

The match stayed close through the first set, with each holding serve. But after winning the tiebreak, Serena ramped up her power and precision to close the contest in 87 minutes.

With the victory, Serena, 27, claimed her 11th major title and her third Wimbledon crown.

Roughly three hours later, the sisters returned to Centre Court and teamed up to defend their 2008 doubles title, defeating the Australian duo of Samantha Stosur and Rennae Stubbs, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4. Fittingly, Serena blasted the ace that clinched the victory and ensured that Venus wouldn't leave Wimbledon this year without a championship trophy, too.

All told, it was a breathtaking display of one family's utter dominance of a sport. Serena bowed out having lost only one set through seven rounds of singles competition; Venus lost only two, both to her sister. And in doubles, they never dropped a set.

Whether playing together or apart, the Williams sisters competed for two weeks on the hallowed lawn of the All England club without coming across a player who was their equal -- except, of course, until Venus found herself staring across the net at Serena.

And that made the quirks of the sport's computer-based ranking system all the more peculiar.

Serena has won three of the past four majors (the 2008 U.S. Open and this year's Australian Open and Wimbledon). But she will remain No. 2 in the world, ranked behind Russia's Dinara Safina, who on Thursday suffered the most resounding semifinal defeat in Wimbledon's modern era, 6-1, 6-0, to Venus. Safina, 23, has yet to win a major title.

Asked if she were disappointed by the ranking formula, Serena alternated between sarcasm and gales of laughter. "It is what it is," she said. "I'd definitely rather be number two and hold three Grand Slams in the past year than be number one and not have any."

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