Wimbledon 2016: Venus Williams stages staggering career comeback to make semi-finals
Former World No. 1 Venus Williams, who has won five titles at Wimbledon in the past, today made the semi-finals of the event with a straight sets win over Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakshtan, beating her 7-6, 6-2 in a display of sheer confidence and athleticism.
The eighth-seed, who at 36 is the oldest player at Wimbledon this year – female or male – has staged a mammoth comeback to make her first Grand Slam semi-final since the US Open in 2010. She had lost in the semis then to eventual champion Kim Clijsters.
The Williams sisters have eleven Wimbledon women's singles titles among them – 5 for Venus, and 6 for younger sister Serena.
Venus, who had been losing form, last year made a return to the top 10, and revealed to the public that she had been suffering from Sjogren’s Syndrome, an autoimmune disorder that leaves sufferers with severe fatigue and joint pain. Afflicted in 2011, the older Williams sister was unable to deal with the relatively unknown disorder.
Williams’ last Grand Slam win came in 2008- at Wimbledon, when she beat younger sister Serena in straight sets. Today’s victory means that Williams’ semi-final opponent will be 2016 Australian Open winner Angelique Kerber, who trounced her sister in the final.
The German took a straight sets victory over 5th seed Simona Halep, 7-5, 6-2 to make the semi-finals of Wimbledon for a second time.
Today, the older Williams sister looked to be in fine nick, although her Kazakh rival stretched her to a tiebreak in the first set.
Williams spoke about her victory after the match, saying “these days don’t happen often, unless you’re Serena Williams,” but revelled in her victory. The 36-year-old put on a fine display of athleticism on Centre Court, running across court with brilliant footwork to combat the cross-court onslaught of her Kazakh rival.
With Shvedova poised at one point to win the pair’s first set tiebreak at 5-2, Williams fired off missives in the form of some powerful forehands, with Shvedova hitting shots out consistently as Venus took a 6-5 lead and closed that set out soon after.
That would be a constant problem for 28-year-old Shvedova today, as she overhit a number of her forehands – and in the end, it was the seven-time Grand Slam champion who was simply more powerful.