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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Williams sisters ease into semi-finals

Photo Titled Serena strikes
Serena strikes

Venus Williams’ heavily strapped left leg has been a big talking point of The Championships and the defending champion showed signs of a limp as she booked her place in the ladies doubles semi-finals with sister Serena.

Again she took to No. 2 Court with industrial strength taping above and below her left knee but if she was in discomfort it appeared to do little to affect her performance as she and Serena disposed of 12th seeds Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Vania King 6-2, 7-5.

Serena took to the court in a three-quarter length top – an interesting choice considering the sweltering conditions – and also with taping of her own: a strapped right wrist and ankle supports.

The sisters have a string of Grand Slam doubles titles to their name – three Wimbledon titles, one French Open, one US Open and three Australian Opens.

And here it was evident why. Dominant, aggressive play saw the Americans threaten their opponents from the start, although it was not until the fourth game that they broke serve – thanks to a winning lob by Serena. That was when father Richard, who had been observing the proceedings from the competitor’s guest box, decided to whip out his camera.

However, he seemed more intent on snapping the spectators and the new arena rather than his daughters who were watertight at the net and firing bullets on serve.

The German and USA duo challenged a call on set point – they had nothing to lose – but the result failed to go their way. The ball was out and the set belonged to the Williams sisters.

When the sisters broke at the same point in the second set the arena was at near full capacity and father Richard opted to shelter from the sun’s blistering rays under a blue umbrella.

It was then that Anna-Lena Groenfeld and King started to up their game, attacking the net well to win two games on the trot and break Venus as she served for the set at 5-3. Soon the set was level at 5-5.

But the 12th seeds were unable to maintain the intensity and the sisters earned a place in the doubles semi-final for the fourth time in their career.

Court 2 - Ladies' Doubles - Quarterfinals
Serena Williams USA (4)/
Venus Williams USA (4)
Anna-Lena Groenefeld GER (12)/
Vania King USA (12)

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