*Venus Williams was all smiles, and even giggled a little as she defied expectations and earned a spot in the Wimbledon semifinals in London today, beating unseeded 28-year-old Yaroslava Shvedova 7-6 (5), 6-2.
Immediately after her match on Court No. 1, her sister Serena ran through Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in straight-sets 6-4, 6-4 to book her 10th Wimbledon semifinal.
As the announcers have mentioned at every turn, Venus is the eldest player in the tournament at age 36. Advancing to the Wimbledon semis at this age and with her health history is an accomplishment she also acknowledges as special.
“You can’t always have this big moment. If you’re Serena Williams, then I guess that happens a lot, but as Venus Williams this is an awesome day,” Venus said in her post-match interview.
V’s next opponent will be No. 4 Angelique Kerber, also a straight-sets winner today over No. 5 Simona Halep 7-5, 7-6 (2).
Before Venus could take her victory walk off the court, mom Oracene and the family were hustling over to Centre Court to catch the beginning of Serena’s match.
It stayed fairly even through the first eight games, with no break points earned. Then Williams broke Pavlyuchenkova at 4-4 in the 2nd, and served out the match with ease.
“It’s good, I’m excited to get through. It felt really good,” she said after the match. Asked when she learned during warmups that Venus had won, Serena said: “I knew Venus was up, and then they showed the [final] score, and I was like: yay!”
On possibly facing Venus in the finals, Serena says they’re not even discussing that scenario. “We’re actually playing doubles today, and regardless, we’re just happy to play in the semi-finals. Obviously I want her to win so bad. I desperately want her to win if I’m not there [in the final].”
Serena moves one step closer to step closer to tying Steffi Graf’s open era record of 22 grand slam titles. Her next opponent will be Russia’s Elena Vesnin.