Younger sibling made the right noises and was hungry for title

Serena wanted this title. She wanted it badly. We know this because she said so, several times, over the past fortnight. We know it because in her semi-final against Elena Dementieva, which she almost lost, she celebrated holding one vital service game by balling her fists and shaking them.

For a moment it seemed possible that she was about to leap the net and tear off the Russian's head with her bare hands, tip her upside down and drink her. She didn't do this, obviously. Not the done thing. But she was so pumped by not losing that game, it was frightening. That told us how much she wanted this.

Yesterday we knew she wanted it because of her fist clenches and pumps. She's not averse to a clench or pump against most people. It's part of who she is. But she tends not to clench and pump against Venus. Not the done thing, not to a sister you evidently like and respect so much.

Yet there she was yesterday, clenching and pumping. The first clench of significance came at the end of the eighth game of the first set. Serena was serving and had handed Venus two break points by dumping a forehand into the net. "Aaaagghhh!" she yelled.

She saved the first break point when Venus hit wide, and the second when Venus hit long. She moved to advantage with an ace, and took the game with another.

Then she clenched her left fist, tightly, drawing it slowly to her chest. She did not scream but the message was clear. She wanted this.

The first big fist pump confirmed what was obvious (she wanted this), and it came in the first-set tie-break, just after Serena had secured a mini-break on Venus's serve to go 6-2 ahead. She had won the point with one of those low, violent forehand cross-court winners that make the crowd go "Oooh!". She pumped her fist. She may have yelped a little but it was wasn't easy to hear, what with the applause. We also knew Serena wanted this by her noise emission on important points. This is best illustrated by describing a rally as she sought (unsuccessfully) to break Venus in the 11th game of the first set.

The rally was a mixture of brutal Venus double-handed backhands and savage Serena forehands. The latter part of the rally sounded as follows: "Uuugh!", "Aaaagh!", "Uuuugh!", "Aaaaaaaagh!", "Uuuuuugh!", "Oooh!" (that was the crowd) "Aaaagh!", ""Uuuuuuuuuuuuugh!". Serena won the point.

The only time it looked as if she might not want it was in what turned out to be the last game of the match, 5-2 to Serena in the second set with Venus serving.

Suddenly it looked like Serena didn't want it that much at all, wasting three match points, and "waste" is certainly not too strong a word for the first two of them.

The first was when Venus was making a second serve. It had spin but it was slow and somehow Serena whacked the ball well wide. The second was during a rally, with Serena on the left side of the court as a tame ball from her sibling sat up in front of her at a perfect height.

If tennis balls could talk, that ball would have begged: "Please, please, please, hit me in any direction you choose, at virtually any speed, and it'll be a winner." Instead, Serena played the dampest squib of a shot, allowing Venus to stay in the point, and then dumped a backhand into the net.

Serena admitted after the match that when Venus had finally hit a shot into the net to seal victory for her sister, her first thoughts were: "Thank God. Did she hit it in the net? I was thinking 'Thank goodness I didn't choke on another match point'.

"I feel so amazing. I'm so blessed. I feel like I shouldn't be holding the trophy. I can't believe I'm holding it and Venus isn't."

That's because Serena wanted this badly.

Arts and Entertainment
Characters in the new series are based on real people, say its creators, unlike Arya and Clegane the Dog in ‘Game of Thrones’
tv'The Last Kingdom' embraces politics, religion, warfare, courage, love and loyalty, say creators
Sport
Sergio Romero saves Wesley Sneijder's penalty
world cup 2014But after defeating the Dutch, Lionel Messi and Argentina will walk out at the Maracana on Sunday as underdogs against Germany
Sport
Scoreboard at the end of the semi-final World Cup match between Brazil and Germany at The Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte
Sport
'Saddest man in Brazil' takes defeat with good grace, handing replica trophy to German fans
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
peopleThe Game of Thrones author said speculation about his health and death was 'offensive'
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman and Lauren O'Neil in Jamie Lloyd's Richard III
theatreReview: The monarch's malign magnetism and diabolic effrontery aren’t felt
News
Glamour magazine hosts a yoga class with Yogalosophy author Mandy Ingber on June 10, 2013 in New York City.
newsFather Padraig O'Baoill said the exercise was 'unsavoury' in a weekly parish newsletter
Extras
indybest
News
people'She is unstoppable', says Jean Paul Gaultier at Paris show
Sport
Alexis Sanchez and apparently his barber Carlos Moles in Barcelona today
football
Arts and Entertainment
Miley Cyrus has her magic LSD brain stolen in this crazy video produced with The Flaming Lips
video
Arts and Entertainment
In his own words: Oscar Wilde in 1882
theatreNew play by the Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials - and what they reveal about the man
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unless films such as Guardians of the Galaxy, pictured, can buck the trend, this summer could be the first in 13 years that not a single Hollywood blockbuster takes $300m
filmWith US films earning record-breaking amounts at the Chinese box office, Hollywood is more than happy to take its lead from its new-found Asian audience
News
The garage was up for sale in Canning Place Mews for £500,000
newsGarage for sale for £500,000
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
10 best girls' summer dresses

Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil