*Serena Williams kept her shot at Grand Slam history alive today – but she had to go through her sister to do it.
In the 26th career meeting between the siblings, Serena dominated Venus 6-4, 6-3 on Centre Court at Wimbledon, sending the top-ranked Serena into the quarterfinals as she bids for a fourth straight Grand Slam title, a feat she last accomplished in 2003.
If Serena wins Wimbledon, only the U.S. Open would stand in her way of becoming the first player to complete a calendar-year Grand Slam – a sweep of all four majors in the same season – since Steffi Graf in 1988.
When Venus hit a backhand long on break point to end the match, Serena showed no emotion and didn’t celebrate. She walked slowly to the net, where the two sisters hugged. They walked off the court together.
”It’s hard to feel excited about (beating) someone you root for all the time no matter what and who you love so much and she’s your best friend in the world,” Serena said. ”It’s never easy but you just play for the competition and enjoy the moment.”
”It was really good for me to get it done in straight sets, and just put this behind me and just move forward,” Serena said.
Monday’s victory improved her career record against Venus to 15-11, including 8-5 in Grand Slams and 4-2 at Wimbledon. This was the sisters’ first meeting at a major since the 2009 Wimbledon final, which was won by Serena.
Serena broke twice in each set and lost serve just once. She had 10 aces, as well as 36 winners and 13 unforced errors.
Venus Williams, playing in her 18th Wimbledon, was the oldest woman in the draw at 35.
This was the earliest all-Williams match in a Slam since they met in the fourth round at the 2005 U.S. Open. Venus was asked whether it felt different playing her sister at such an early stage.
”It’s definitely anticlimactic if this isn’t a semifinal or a final,” she said. ”It’s different. Especially when she’s going for something this historic, which is achievable for her.”
Serena will next face Victoria Azarenka, the two-time Australian Open champion from Belarus. Azarenka beat 18-year-old Belinda Bencic of Switzerland 6-2, 6-3. Williams holds a 16-3 career advantage against Azarenka, including a 9-0 record in Grand Slam matches.