Serena on course to be best ever, says Venus Williams

Venus Williams believes her “ultimate champion” sister Serena is on course to become the greatest player in the history of women’s tennis.

Serena on course to be best ever, says Venus Williams

Serena bludgeoned mercilessly past older sister Venus to reach her 11th Wimbledon quarter-final yesterday, as the two five-time champions locked horns for the first time in six years at SW19.

Reigning Australian and French Open champion Serena edged a step closer to the calendar grand slam by seeing off her in-form 35-year-old sister, to book a last-eight battle with Victoria Azarena.

The 33-year-old boasts 20 grand slam titles but still trails Steffi Graf’s 22 and Margaret Court’s 24, leaving Venus claiming it is too early to anoint the younger Williams sister the best of all time.

“I don’t think she’s done, so we’ll see what more she does,” said veteran Venus, who expects to return to compete at Wimbledon next year.

“I don’t think she would call herself the greatest player of all time because she respects everyone else and the accomplishments they’ve made.

“But the level she’s playing at is unprecedented. I can say that with confidence. So make what you will of it.

“Then when it’s a wrap, it will be easier to make labels and not offend anybody.” World number 16 Venus threw powerful serving, rangy ground shots and crafty net play at her top seed sister, only for world number one Serena to storm to victory 6-4 6-3.

Maria Sharapova will face American Coco Vandeweghe in the quarter-finals after the Russian eased past Zarina Diyas in straight sets.

Kazakhstan’s Diyas only managed to take two games off Sharapova at the Australian Open earlier this year and while this was a tighter match on Court One, the number four seed sealed a convincing 6-4 6-4 victory.

Meanwhile, Caroline Wozniacki has sparked a Wimbledon sexism row by claiming women do not receive as many chances as men to feature on SW19’s show courts.

Danish fifth seed Wozniacki tumbled out of Wimbledon’s last-16 for the fifth time in her career, then hit out at organisers of the All-England Club’s scheduling.

Wozniacki claimed tournament bosses should feature as many women’s as men’s matches on the top courts.

“I would love to play on a big court,” said Wozniacki, after her 6-4 6-4 defeat to Spain’s Garbine Muguruza.

“I think that’s what it’s all about; you work hard and practice to play on the big courts.

“The women really haven’t gotten the opportunity here to play on the big courts.

“Most of last week it was only one women’s match on Court Two as well.

“It’s definitely different, that’s all I can say,” she added.

Andy Murray furthered his reputation as one of the sharpest returners in the game as the Scot overcame Ivo Karlovic’s demon serve to book his place in the quarter-finals.

Karlovic’s 136 aces put him top of the tournament leaderboard at the start of play but, while the 6ft 11in Croatian added another 29 to his tally, precision won over power as Murray sealed a 7-6 (9/7) 6-4 5-7 6-4 victory.

“It was an incredibly difficult match,” Murray said.

“It was tiring, it’s not so physically difficult because the points are quick but it’s mentally tiring and you have to ready when the chance comes.” Richard Gasquet took advantage of a strop from Nick Kyrgios to avenge last year’s second-round defeat to the Australian and reach the quarter-finals.

The Court Two crowd booed Kyrgios as he appeared to deliberately lose the third game of the second set, with the 20-year-old having been riled at being handed a code violation for swearing by umpire James Keothavong.

He showed only slightly more appetite for the rest of the second set, and went on to lose the match 7-5 6-1 6-7 (7/9) 7-6 (8/6).

The Canberra native did not bother swinging his racquet at two serves, which he let pass for aces, and meekly swished another two into the net, in an act of sporting surrender rarely seen on the tennis court.

Kyrgios could face a heavy fine from the International Tennis Federation over his antics. He also sparred with Keothavong over switching his socks at the first changeover in the third set.

Roger Federer made smooth progress through to a 13th Wimbledon quarter-final as the Swiss second seed brushed aside Roberto Bautista Agut, winning 6-2 6-2 6-3 to set up a crack at Gilles Simon next.

Frenchman Simon was a surprisingly comfortable 6-3 6-3 6-2 victor against Czech sixth seed Tomas Berdych, while Croatia’s US Open champion Marin Cilic reached the last-eight stage with a 6-4 4-6 6-3 7-5 win against American Denis Kudla.

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