Serena Williams believes she will have “nothing to lose” when she takes on sister Venus in tomorrow’s Wimbledon final.
The siblings will battle it out in a Wimbledon final for the fourth time but both are determined to keep the build-up as low key as possible, although Serena admits Venus has been the most impressive so far.
Venus, seeking her sixth title at the All England Club, has not lost a set at Wimbledon since the third round two years ago, while Serena is hoping to overcome her sister and take the crown for the third time.
Serena said: “We’re used to being in this position now, so we pretty much have it down.
“There is no effect on us. We just live our lives. It’s not the end of the world. It’s like Sunday, Monday, is still going to be here.
“I feel like going into this final I have nothing to lose. I feel like obviously Venus is playing the best tennis at this tournament.
“(I will) start with that, and then just keep positive and go with it. So I think that if I can do that, then it will be good.”
Their father, Richard, will be travelling home to America by the time the sisters take to the Centre Court for a repeat of last year’s final – won by Venus 7-5 6-4.
He does not watch their head-to-heads but has kept a close eye as his daughters have fought through the rounds.
Serena came back from the brink of defeat to beat Elena Dementieva 6-7 7-5 8-6 in the semi-finals, while Venus needed only 51 minutes to beat world number one Dinara Safina 6-1 6-0.
They are as close as sisters can be and yet they appear, in many ways, quite different.
Venus is tall and rangy, a physique that has helped her become the best grass-court player of her generation, while Serena is shorter, more muscular and more obviously aggressive in her approach to the pursuit of grand slam titles.
Not that Venus is a shrinking violet on the court – far from it – it is just that she tends to keep her thoughts and her emotions to herself.
But they were today reluctant to discuss how they will treat each other in the build-up to the final.
“The more we play, the better it gets,” said Serena. “When we play our match on Saturday, it’s for everything.
“This is what we dreamed of when we were growing up in Compton 20-something years ago.
“This is what we worked for, and this is what we want.”
At their joint pre-match media conference, the pair steadfastly refused to go into detail about how they would treat each other, giving they are living in the same house at Wimbledon.
Instead, it turned into a mutual admiration meeting.
“The basis of my whole career was learning off Venus,” said Serena.
“Especially when she started out and I was in the stands watching. I was able to learn a lot and actually gain experience, even though I wasn’t playing the actual matches.
“We really love to play. We just love being out there. We love the competition. It’s a great job. It’s a privilege to be out there and we really love that opportunity. Our routine is the same.”
Venus added: “We definitely learn from not only some of the tougher matches but also from the success. It goes both ways. We learn from when it is tough and when it is easy.
“We didn’t have anything to show. We just bring our tennis on the court and we’re just ourselves. That’s really all it’s about.”
The focus remains as defined as ever, and victory will come to the sister who can continue to keep that the longest.
“Serena had a very tough competitor (Dementieva) yesterday and I’ve had to stay on my ’A’ game to defeat each competitor,” said Venus.
“In the doubles together we’ve been focused and that’s really been the key word this Championship. Our focus has paid off so far.”