Venus deals with Dementieva threat

Number five seed Elena Dementieva, of Russia, loses women’s singles semi-final against Venus Williams of the United States, 6-1 7-6 (7/3).

Defending champion Venus Williams held off a determined challenge from fifth seed Elena Dementieva to advance to her seventh Wimbledon final today.

Williams blasted through the opening set of the first semi-final for the loss of just one game but was made to fight all the way in the second before sealing a 6-1 7-6 (7/3) victory.

The four-time champion could face sister Serena in Saturday’s final, the sixth seed taking on China’s Zheng Jie in the day’s second semi-final on Centre Court.

“It’s so exciting,” said Williams.

“I’m looking forward to the final and I’m dying for Serena to get through.

“It’s my seventh final and I’m looking forward to playing Serena in our third final.”

Williams broke Dementieva’s fragile serve twice in the opening three games and the Russian had to save two more break points to finally get on the scoreboard after an 11-minute fifth game.

That was greeted with a loud cheer by a crowd obviously keen to see more of a contest, but Dementieva committed more unforced errors to lose her serve to love and give Williams the set after 38 minutes.

Dementieva took a “comfort break” after losing the second set of her quarter-final with Nadia Petrova from 5-1 up, and credited that with her eventual success.

However, the 26-year-old simply sat in her chair at the changeover, no doubt contemplating the prospect of a one-sided defeat.

That moved ever closer when Dementieva lost her serve once more early in the second set, looking pleadingly for help to her mother and coach, Vera, in the players’ box with cries of “Nyet, nyet, nyet.”

Williams was unable to consolidate though, saving one break point with an ace at 125mph only to lose the next point as Dementieva enjoyed a slice of luck with a decisive net cord.

Surprisingly there were no further breaks and a tie-break was required to decide the set, Dementieva making the first error with a double-fault to trail 2-1.

Williams instantly returned the favour and then sprayed a forehand wide, only for Dementieva to commit two unforced errors as five points in a row went against the serve.

The world number five then let out a piercing scream as she dumped another forehand into the net and an overhit backhand gave Williams three match points.

The four-time champion sealed the win with another deep forehand to complete a 6-1 7-6 (7/3) success in one hour and 42 minutes.

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