SERENA WILLIAMS BEATS ELENA VESNINA 6-2, 6-0
Set 2 Game 6 Williams* serves for the match. Winner after winner after winner, and Serena Williams seals that with an ace. Game, set and match Serena Williams!
Set 2, Game 5 Vesnina is looking done. Williams is hitting forehand-backhand-forehands all over the place and Vesnina can’t suss out the shot placement. Wily play from the World No. 1 and she’s up 5-0 and set to serve for the match.
Set 2, Game 4 Williams* has managed a paltry 9 winners this match so far; Williams has 23 and with both forehand and backhand on top form today it’s not hard to see why. Williams leads 4-0.
Set 2, Game 3 Vesnina* running away with this as Vesnina bottles completely. Errors galore from the Russian means Williams is up 3-0.
Set 2, Game 2 Williams* outclassing Vesnina, takes a 2-0 lead to race away with matters.
Set 2, Game 1 Vesnina* holds easily to lead 1-0. The way things are going right now she’ll wrap this up in the next 45 minutes. Looking a bit grim for Vesnina here...
SERENA WILLIAMS WINS THE FIRST SET, 6-2 in 28 minutes.
Set 1, Game 8 - Williams* serves for the set. She’s calm and confident, and after racing through the game, and poised at 40-0, she hits an ace to seal the game and the set 6-2.
Set 1, Game 7 – Vesnina* serves. Williams has firmly established control on this match, but commits a couple of unforced errors to lose that game, sending a shot long. She’s audibly angry with that shot, and Vesnina holds. Williams will now serve for the set at 5-2.
Set 1, Game 6 – Williams* brings the forehand back out to play. The distance her serves travel are a testament to the American’s sheer power – and she’s already hit six aces so far in this match. She holds to lead 5-1.
Set 1, Game 5 – Vesnina* is trying to fight back! She’s at 30-0 quickly courtesy two unforced errors from her rival.. but Williams fights back for deuce! Eventually, Vesnina manages to hold a service game. 4-1 Williams.
Set 1, Game 4 – Williams* looks to be running away with this one. And she has. Some brilliant baseline play from the defending champion and Vesnina is firmly planted on the back foot. Williams holds for 4-0.
Set 1, Game 3– Vesnina* is being schooled here on Centre Court. Now it’s the Serena backhand that’s slaying her and Williams is up two breaks. 3-0 Williams.
Set 1, Game 2 – Williams* starts off trying to build on her break. She races to 40-0 with two forehand winners. A couple of unforced errors there but she’s built to lead 2-0 and already she’s establishing dominance.
Set 1, Game 1 – Vesnina* to serve (* denotes the server) and she starts off seeing Serena Williams' flying serve. Her own are no match for Williams’ powerful groundstrokes, and she breaks straightaway. Williams 1-0 Vesnina
The players are now on court! It’s a bright sunny day and Serena Williams is by far the favourite going into this! Can she make the finals yet another year in a row?
Wimbledon defending champion Serena Williams takes on Elena Vesnina of Russia at the first semi-final of the Wimbledon 2016 singles. Vesnina, who is unseeded at the tournament, beat 19th seed Dominika Cibulkova in the quarter-finals to take on the top seed here. The pair have played each other on four occasions prior to this, with Williams winning each time. Their first meeting on the professional tour was at a Grand Slam – the 2008 US Open. Not only has Serena won every one of her encounters against her Russian rival, she has done so in straight sets on every occsaion, a statistic Vesnina will not be too thrilled with. This will also be the pair’s first meeting on grass courts – they have played each other on both clay and hard courts, but Williams, who has six Wimbledon titles, will not be particularly worried. The 34-year-old, who has 21 Grand Slam titles, will look to match the all-time highest record of 22 Grand Slams, held by German ace Steffi Graf.
Williams crashed out of the US Open last year in the semi-finals, ousted by Italian Roberta Vinci. Since then, she has made the finals of both Grand Slams so far this year, but was upset on both occasions – in Australia by Germany’s Angelique Kerber, and at the French Open by 2nd ranked Garbine Muguruza of Spain. Kerber, who showed some decline in form following her mammoth victory at the Australian Open, has seemed to have picked up momentum again, and will be playing today’s other women’s semi-final – against 5-time Wimbledon winner and former World No. 1 Venus Williams.
Muguruza, who was the runner-up to Williams last year, crashed out of Wimbledon early on in 2016, with a tame loss to Slovak world no. 124 Jana Cepalovek in straight sets. Although a number of seeded players crashed out fairly early on into the tournament, Vesnina will today be the only unseeded one in the final four with a series of good performances. She has dropped only one set so far into the tournament, and beat seeded rival Cibulkova in thoroughly convincing straight sets. Early on in her route to the semi-finals, the 29-year-old also removed 23rd seed Andrea Petkovic of Germany from the tournament.
It is Serena Williams who is the firm favourite going into this matchup, not only on the basis of her history against Vesnina, but the form she has displayed all tournament. The powerful American has also dropped only a single set en route to the semi-finals, against compatriot Christina McHale, but bageled two of her opponents en route; in scintillating form this time around, Williams is also the favourite to win the title here.
Kerber released a strong warning to her rivals today, saying she was “playing like I am in Australia!”, perhaps a warning to her rival and Australian Open runner-up Serena Williams.
Fans will be hoping for the prospect of an all-Williams final at Wimbledon this year, a prospect that could possibly be derailed by Kerber. But for the older Williams sister has staged a brilliant comeback over the past 8 months and shown both her immense skill and composure at Wimbledon this year, and it might not be shocking if she managed to oust her younger German rival from the tournament.
The action from Centre Court begins at 5:30 pm IST as Serena looks for a spot in the finals of Wimbledon yet again.Published 07 Jul 2016, 16:29 IST