Serena makes short work of Capriati

Defending champion Serena Williams swept into the semi-finals with a blistering victory over Jennifer Capriati in just 42 minutes on Centre Court.

Defending champion Serena Williams swept into the semi-finals with a blistering victory over Jennifer Capriati in just 42 minutes on Centre Court.

It was a superb performance from the two-time winner at the All England Club, breaking the number seven seed early in the opening set and never looking back as she raced to a 6-1 6-1 triumph.

Williams is on course to become the first woman to win three consecutive Wimbledon titles since Steffi Graf between 1991 and 1993.

Capriati, twice a Wimbledon semi-finalist and having beaten Williams at the French Open last month, looked out of sorts and failed to find the form which had taken her to the quarter-finals without dropping a set.

The third game of today’s opening set proved to be crucial, Williams forcing no fewer than four break points, only to spurn them when either wide or long with her returns.

And when a netted forehand gave the champion another chance to break, it was Capriati who sealed her own fate with a double fault to trail 2-1.

A long forehand at 40-30 from the number seven seed in the next game moved Williams further ahead.

When Capriati netted a backhand return towards the end of the fifth game, the champion had another break point, which was converted when her opponent again tamely returned the ball into the net and Williams had a commanding 4-1 lead.

A love-service game for the number one seed followed, which included a booming 117 miles-per-hour ace, before an overhead forehand smash gave Williams a chance to break again for the set, which she did at the second time of asking when Capriati’s baseline return was just long.

Following Williams’ eight-month injury lay-off, the American has dropped down the WTA rankings and at number 10, is currently three places below Capriati.

There was, though, a massive gulf between the two former world number ones at the All England Club today as a free-flowing Williams again broke early in the second set.

Capriati looked out of sorts, tamely returning into the net, and a pale shadow of the player who had progressed to the semi-finals of the French Open last month.

The 28-year-old finally got something on the board when Williams double-faulted twice at the end of the third game, before normal service was resumed when another unforced error from Capriati gave the champion a chance to break to love, which she accepted with a superb cross-court forehand into the corner from the baseline.

When the number seven seed netted a low backhand, it was 4-1 to Williams, who was playing with complete composure and in stark contrast to her compatriot.

Two wild long forehands from Capriati gave Williams the chance to serve for the match. She saved a break point before another backhand into the net from Capriati set her up for victory, which was clinched by a lovely drop shot.

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