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Williams yet to drop set as she downs Pavlyuchenkova to reach Australian Open SF

"It means so much, mostly because she played so well".

The final will see Venus chasing an eighth major title while Serena will be out to set a new open-era record with a 23rd title.

On that last occasion, at Wimbledon, Venus emerged the victor but overall Serena leads the rivalry with 22 Grand Slam titles to Venus's seven.

Starting with the 2002 French Open and ending with the 2003 Australian, the two met in four consecutive Grand Slam Finals with Serena sweeping to earn her "Serena Slam".

For Serena, however, this is another golden opportunity given she stands on the brink of a seventh Australian Open crown, as well as reclaiming her world number one ranking from Angelique Kerber.

That was when Serena took charge and established a 16-11 record over her big sister, 6-2 in Grand Slam finals.

If Serena, who has a 16-11 head to head record over her sibling, plays like that, even Venus will find it hard to stay with her younger sister.

Venus Williams and Serena Williams huddle during a double's match at the 1998 Australian Open.

"It's a dream to play someone you grew up watching", she said. The only one who can steal her thunder down under is her little sister, Serena, who at age 35 cruised her way to the finals with a series of straight-set victories.

"It was kind of surprising for me how in great form she is now", she said.

Navratilova lost in the final (Picture: Allsport)72 - The total of aces both players have hit at this year's Australian Open.

"When I'm playing on the court with her, I think I'm playing, like, the best competitor in the game", Williams said.

Venus, who wrapped up a victory against Vandeweghe in two sets at their first meet in Rome a year ago, is expecting a battle of power and strength.

"She's my toughest opponent, no-one has ever beaten me as much as Venus has", Serena said on-court.

"To me, the semi-finals is a stepping stone, just like the other rounds", she said.

Seven times titled Grand Slam (5 Wimbledon, 2 US Open), it experienced an eclipse between 2010 and 2014, partly due to health problems. "We lived together. I know what she went through". "Great job. Definitely everybody expects Serena to be in the final, not Venus, but maybe after this things are gonna change".

Serena, who only lost three games in her win against Mirjana Lučić-Baroni, advanced to the finals as well.

If Serena's domination of world tennis has continued since the last family final of 2009, Venus has not approached so close to the title since then.

But the great American (1.85 m) hung on and since past year she knows like a second youth.

Venus hugged her sister, younger by a year, at the net and apologised for having to "take (her) out".

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