Venus and Serena will meet for the 28th time and in their ninth major final as the game’s most successful siblings do battle for the first grand slam title of the year.
The stakes are high for Serena, who stands just one win away from an Open era record 23rd grand slam title, moving her clear of Steffi Graf and one short of Margaret Court’s all-time best 24.
For Venus, however, the title match is her first at a major tournament in eight years and, at 36, makes her the oldest woman to reach a grand slam final since a 37-year-old Martina Navratilova at Wimbledon in 1994.
Serena is the clear favourite, however. She has won seven of their last eight match-ups and has been ruthless so far in Melbourne, yet to drop a set and poised to claim her seventh Australian Open crown.
“When I’m playing on the court with her, I think I’m playing the best competitor in the game,” Venus said.
“But I don’t think I’m chump change either. I can compete against any odds. No matter what, I get out there and I compete.”
Venus last made a grand slam final at Wimbledon in 2009 and is the oldest entrant into the singles draw at Melbourne Park.
Venus showed her stamina by coming from a set down to beat the in-form Coco Vandeweghe 6-7 (3/7) 6-2 6-3 on Thursday. Vandeweghe had knocked out Angelique Kerber and Garbine Muguruza en route to the last four but Venus was too strong for her fellow American and too clinical in the pressure moments.
Asked what she needs to do to win the final, Venus said: “Honestly, I probably just need to continue playing like I’m playing.
“I haven’t played badly. I lost a set today. I was not happy about it but my opponent deserved that set.
“So what else could I do? Try to get the next two. I will try to do the same again on Saturday.”
If Venus could add another upset to an already shock-filled tournament, she would also snatch her sister’s 2015 record as the oldest Australian Open champion.
“It would be beautiful,” Venus said. “I have to earn it, it’s not a given.”
Serena enjoyed an altogether more comfortable passage as she beat surprise semi-finalist Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-2 6-1.