Serena beats big sister Venus in Wimbledon final

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The Independent Online

Serena Williams turned the tables on sister Venus to win her third Wimbledon title with a 7-6 (7/3) 6-2 victory on Centre Court.

The pair also met in last year's final, when Venus won her fifth title and second in a row.

But Serena had come out on top in their two previous meetings in the SW19 showpiece in 2002 and 2003 and so that proved the outcome again today.

The 27-year-old, who now has 11 grand slam singles titles, looked marginally the more threatening player in the opening set and played a stunning tie-break to move in front.

The second set was a much more one-sided affair as Serena won four games in a row to clinch victory - the eighth Williams triumph of the last 10 years.

The new champion said: "It feels so amazing, I feel so blessed, I feel like I shouldn't be holding the trophy, like I can't believe I won and not Venus."

The runner-up, meanwhile, admitted she had been outplayed by arguably the toughest competitor on the women's tour.

"Today she was too good," said 29-year-old Venus. "She had answers for everything, she played the best tennis today."

The sisters were meeting for the eighth time in grand slam finals, with Serena having won five going into today's match.

Venus began with a double fault but both players easily held serve in the early stages.

The third seed had by far the more comfortable run to the final, dropping only 20 games, while Serena had to save a match point in her semi-final win over Elena Dementieva.

It was Serena who was looking marginally the more confident though, hitting four aces in her first three service games.

That changed in the eighth game when Serena found herself down 15-40 but a pass that flew narrowly long from Venus let her off the hook, and she responded with two aces to hold.

The rallies were becoming increasingly ferocious but neither player could steal an advantage and the first set went into a tie-break.

Serena gained the first mini-break to move 3-1 in front and the second seed took the initiative by coming out on top of a brutal rally to make it 6-2.

She thought she had wrapped it up the next point but a Hawk-Eye challenge from Venus showed the ball was out. There was no way back a point later, though, as a stunning lob clinched it 7-3 for Serena.

As well as putting her within touching distance of a third Wimbledon title, Serena's first-set triumph also ended Venus' run of consecutive sets won at the All England Club at 34 - stretching back to the third round in 2007.

The sisters were also playing for head-to-head supremacy, with their record tied at 10-10 at the start of play.

Serena took the momentum into the second set, dropping only two points on serve in the opening three games.

And she gained the first break of the match in the sixth game when Venus, who was struggling to make first serves, double-faulted on break point.

The confidence appeared to be draining out of the five-time champion, while Serena continued to serve faultlessly, taking her tally of aces to 12 and opening up a 5-2 lead.

Another double fault put Venus immediately under pressure as she served to stay in contention and four points later a wayward forehand gave Serena a first match point.

A brave second serve from Venus saved that one but another quickly followed as Serena again came out on top of a baseline exchange.

Serena strangely opted not to go for the kill on a short forehand and she then netted as Venus hung on by her fingernails.

A third match point came and went but on the fourth Venus netted with a backhand and Serena was left to celebrate her first Wimbledon singles triumph for six years.