Venus wins battle of the Williams sisters

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The Independent Online

Defending champion Venus Williams today won the first set of the Wimbledon final against sister Serena in blustery conditions on Centre Court.

Seeking a third title at the All England Club, Serena made the perfect start with a break of serve in the opening game of the match.

The 26-year-old led 2-0 and won 10 of the first 11 points before Venus began to battle back into the match.

It has been five years since the last grand slam final between the pair, Serena winning her second Wimbledon title in 2003, but Venus broke back to level at 4-4 and gradually gained the upper hand.

Another break of serve in the 12th game gave Venus the set 7-5 after 53 hard-fought minutes.

Venus held serve in the opening game of the second set, helped by a record-equalling 129mph serve.

But the four-time champion was unable to repeat the trick in her next service game, saving six break points but slipping over beyond the baseline on the seventh to give Serena the advantage.

That game had taken 14 minutes and many others were proving long, drawn-out battles from the baseline as the siblings traded thunderous serves and groundstrokes.

Venus immediately broke back to level at 2-2 and the next five games also went with serve until Venus forged two match points on her sister's serve in the 10th game.

Serena saved the first with a thumping ace but an errant backhand on the second gave Venus her fifth Wimbledon title with a 7-5 6-4 victory in one hour and 51 minutes.