Wimbledon 2016: Serena Williams to play Angelique Kerber in final

Wimbledon 2016: Serena Williams beats Elena Vesnina to reach ninth final
Wimbledon on the BBC
Venue: All England Club Dates: 27 June-10 July
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Holder Serena Williams will play Angelique Kerber in the women's singles final at Wimbledon on Saturday.

Six-time champion Serena, 34, thrashed Russia's Elena Vesnina 6-2 6-0 in 48 minutes to reach her ninth final.

Fourth-seeded German Kerber, 28, prevented a fifth all-Williams final by beating Serena's older sister Venus, who looked out of sorts, 6-4 6-4.

In January, the left-handed Kerber beat Serena in the Australian Open final for her first Grand Slam title.

Supreme Serena

Serena, who is bidding to match Steffi Graf's open era record of 22 Grand Slam singles title, simply had too much firepower for her unseeded opponent.

Vesnina, a two-time Grand Slam champion in doubles, looked overawed from the outset, losing the first four games.

The world number 50, playing in her first Grand Slam singles semi-final, rallied but still lost the first set in 28 minutes.

Things got even worse for Vesnina in the second set, the 29-year-old simply unable to deal with the Serena serve, which yielded only three points in the match.

Serena had a first-serve percentage of 77% and lost just one point when successful. This Hawk-Eye graphic shows that was aided by the disguise of her ball toss. The cluster shows it remained very constant against Vesnina, but Serena still varied her serve, making it hard for her opponent to read.

Kerber the Williams slayer

Venus, who last won the title in 2008, was appearing in her first Grand Slam semi-final since the 2010 US Open and was the oldest major semi-finalist since Martina Navratilova at Wimbledon in 1994.

Five-time champion Venus fell out of the world's top 100 in 2011 after being diagnosed with the immune system disorder Sjogren's syndrome.external-link

And the eighth seed looked fatigued throughout, dropping her serve four times in the first set and also in the first game of the second.

Kerber continued to take advantage of Venus' misfiring forehand, wrapping things up in one hour and 12 minutes to reach her first Wimbledon final.

Wimbledon 2016: Angelique Kerber beats Venus Williams

Serena set on revenge

"We've had tough matches before and I knew she could bring it to me on this surface," said Serena, who led Vesnina 4-0 in head-to-heads before Thursday.

"It's never easy out there, every point you have to fight for.

"I can't believe I'm in the final this year. I'm 0-2 this year [Serena lost the Australian and French Open finals] so I'm determined to win one."

Vesnina, who had never before been past the fourth round, said: "I felt like I had no chance today.

"I think she has now a big, big chance to win her 22nd Grand Slam title. I think she's in the right mood right now."

Serena went on to beat Vesnina for a second time later in the day as she and Venus beat her and fellow Russian Ekaterina Makarova 7-6 (7-1) 4-6 6-2 to reach the semi-finals of the women's doubles.

Kerber keeping cool

Angelique Kerber
The left-handed Kerber will be playing in her first Wimbledon final on Saturday

"I know Venus is playing well at the moment. Everything worked and it is a very good feeling," said Kerber, who has lost five of seven matches against Serena.

"I have a lot of experience now. I'm really enjoying my tennis life. I'm playing my best tennis. I will give everything I can in the final."

What the experts said

John McEnroe, three-time Wimbledon champion: "Let's be real, I'm guessing it's a combination of fatigue and Vesnina freezing. Her legs looked like they weighed 200 pounds each.

"It shows you how great Serena is. As a former player, you understand how difficult it is. The first time I went on Centre Court it felt like my legs would buckle."

Tracy Austin, two-time Grand Slam winner: "Serena played at another level and Vesnina was completely overwhelmed.

"It was a fantastic game from Kerber. She did not let Venus get into the match.

"I felt that Venus came out fatigued because she was not able to push off on her first serve as much. Her first serve was not effective as it had been in the rest of the fortnight.

"Kerber is going to test your movement, she has incredible angles, hits the ball early and Venus was half a step slow. Venus wasn't able to get enough depth and power on her groundstrokes.

"It was a real disappointment for Venus after playing so well and such a remarkable story by coming back at the age of 36."

Lindsay Davenport, 1999 Wimbledon champion: "It will be great to see Serena compete for her 22nd Grand Slam title, but you always want more competitive matches. It has been the tournament of Elena Vesnina's life but this was a tough day at the office for her."

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