Serena Williams to play sister Venus in Australian Open final

Venus Williams has the chance to deny her younger sister Serena a place in tennis history when the pair face off in a grand slam final for the first time in seven years on Saturday.

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A win would be a “beautiful” thing for 36-year-old Venus.

It is a match she was not sure she would be physically capable of playing, after being forced to withdraw from a tournament in Auckland, New Zealand with an arm injury.

But it is one she is desperate to win, against a “super awesome” opponent.

I don’t think there’s necessarily anything to exploit. It’s just about building a point that works for you, that’s going to work for me,” said Venus of Serena, after beating Coco Vandeweghe 6-7, 6-2, 6-3.

Every point’s going to be a little different. She doesn’t have too many weaknesses.

It’s not a given. I’m going to do what I can to earn it. I’m not thinking about, ‘Oh, what would it be like to win?

I’m thinking about, What do I have to do to earn that? That’s my mentality right now.

Honestly, I probably just need to continue playing like I’m playing.”

The Williams will play their ninth grand slam final – and their first in more than seven years – after both won through in Thursday’s semi-finals.

Venus Williams came from a set down to defeat Coco Vandeweghe, while Serena dominated Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in the following match.

Sidelined for considerable time by injury and an autoimmune illness, 36-year-old Venus said she would meet the “best competitor in the game” on Saturday.

But she added: “I don’t think I’m chump change either, you know. I can compete against any odds. No matter what, I get out there and I compete.

So it’s like two players who really, really can compete, then also they can play tennis. Then, okay, won’t be an easy match.I know that it won’t be easy.

You have to control yourself, then you also have to hopefully put your opponent in a box. This opponent is your sister, and she’s super awesome. It’s wonderful.

Serena has a 6-2 record against her sister – who she has beaten in seven of their last eight encounters – in grand slam finals.

Their last major final was Wimbledon 2009, where Serena denied Venus a third consecutive title.

They have played one Australian Open final against each other, in 2003, when Serena won a three-set match in what Venus remembered as a “battle royale.”



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