Williams sisters, Federer advance to Australian Open finals
Jan 27 2017 by Dustin Murphy
No. 2-ranked Serena Williams, a six-time Australian Open victor, overwhelmed Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-2, 6-1 in the second women's semifinal on Thursday after Venus Williams beat fellow American CoCo Vandeweghe 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-3.
It will be the 28th time the two have met as professionals, with Serena holding a 16-11 advantage.
Chasing her elusive first Open crown and eighth career major, Williams will face her sister - six-time champion Serena - or Croatian surprise package Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in Saturday night's final. Her toughest competition was No. 27 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who she beat in the quarterfinals.
Serena Williams plays unseeded Croat Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in the second semi-final.
If she wins, Serena will beat Steffi Graff's record for the most Grand Slam titles ever in women's tennis.
The seven-time major champion has lost in the third round or earlier in five of her last seven attempts and her prospects took another blow when she retired in Auckland earlier this month through injury.
While the 36-year-old made headlines for being the oldest woman to reach the semifinals at Melbourne Park in the Open Era (snapping a 14-year absence), it is not her age that deserves a round of applause from tennis fans; rather, the focus should be on Williams's resilience and longevity in a sport that was slow to embrace her greatness.
"She just also wasn't giving me much of a rhythm because she was either making winners or easy mistakes". I thought she was more my height. "Maybe mine has gone on a while. I didn't want to, but I had to do it'".
Tuesday's results had guaranteed that there would be at least one American in the women's final.
America's Williams sisters can write another chapter in their eventful family history as they attempt to set up their ninth Grand Slam final, eight years after the last, at the Australian Open today.
The Williams sisters' meeting at the 2003 Australian Open marked the fourth consecutive major final between the two, but the first final at the Australian Open.
The second set was nearly a carbon copy of the first - the American 13th seed overcame a break in the third game, and came back from 3-4 down to lead 5-4. At the moment of Thursday's win, she danced with joy and the crowd delighted in her victory.
Last year, in their only previous matchup, Williams earned a routine straight sets win over Vandeweghe on a clay court in Rome.
The No. 35-ranked Vandeweghe upset top-ranked Angelique Kerber, who won the Australian and USA titles past year, in the fourth round.
The German-born righthander won her first singles match at Melbourne Park in 1998 but had to wait 19 years for her second victory in the years opening grand slam last week. "It's a wonderful story", said Williams.
The World #2 won 6-2, 6-1.
Who do you think will win the Australian Open matches? Serena started the better, breaking for a 3-1 lead in the first set, but unforced errors eventually allowed Venus to dominate.