In what should be an entertaining match, World No. 1 Serena will face-off against big sister Venus for the first time at Wimbledon since 2009 when she beat her in the final. “Venus is in better form than I am, but at least one of us will be in the quarter-finals,” said Serena. “I’m in awe of her in practice right now. Worst case scenario I don’t do well, I’ll just keep trying to move forward. She’s the toughest player I’ve ever played. But she’s my sister today, my sister next week, next year. That’s more important than the match. We’ll leave everything out on the court and when it’s done, go back to regular life.”
Going into their match on Monday, Serena will be following up a very taxing match against British No.1 player Heather Watson, who took her to the brink before Serena was able to mount a comeback from 0-3 in the third set. “I honestly didn’t think I was going to win,” said Serena. “How I pulled through I really don’t know. I was thinking I would be hanging around to watch Venus play. I couldn’t keep up with her. I thought maybe it just wasn’t my day. I should have won the second set and I didn’t. This was a match I think I would have lost last year or the year before. Mentally I’m stronger now. The older I get, the tougher I get upstairs. But I don’t think I’ve ever played the crowd here like that. They were really vocal – in between points, during points… I’ve never heard boos here, that was new for me. They were rooting for their champion. You can’t blame them – I would be too.”
Watson produced tennis of the highest quality to come within two points of victory, but ultimately could not match the consistency of Serena’s aggression. Williams needed three match points and was almost in tears of exhaustion when she came through 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 in two hours and 14 minutes.
Venus, on the other hand, cruised in her pre-Serena showdown, On Monday, big sister romped to a 42-minute victory over Madison Brengle without the loss of a game. Two days later against Yulia Putintseva, the first three games lasted nearly as long as the first set of her first-round win. “At the end of the day, if you win easily or you win and it’s a tough match, what’s important is you get through to the next round.” Venus said.