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SerenaSlam: Williams Aims for 6th Wimbledon Title

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Serena Williams could win her 6th Wimbledon title and complete a #SerenaSlam in the final on Saturday after beating rival Maria Sharapova with a 6–2 6–4 victory – extending her winning run against the Russian to 17 matches over 11 years.

Sharapova became the 3rd youngest winner in Wimbledon history when she beat Williams 6–1 6–4 in 2004 aged just 17 years and 2 months. But apart from one other victory that year at the WTA Finals, Sharapova – then ranked world No17 – has not managed to beat Williams since. Despite her dismal record against Williams, Sharapova was hopeful that she could put an end to her 16-match losing run and reach her first Wimbledon final since 2011. "I think it’s always a new match," she told BBC Sport. "I haven’t had great success against her. I would love to change that around."

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Serena came back to beat Sharapova 2–6 7–5 8–6 in the semi-final of the 2005 Australian Open, fighting back from a set down to even out their budding rivalry. She went on to defeat top seeded Lindsay Davenport 2–6 6–3 6–0 in the final to win her second Australian Open title. In a one-sided gold medal match at the 2012 Olympics, Williams beat down Sharapova in a straight set win to become the second woman to complete a career Golden Slam – an Olympic gold, plus wins in all 4 Grand Slam tournaments. She overpowered Sharapova in another straight set win 6–4 6–4 to capture her second French Open title in 2013. 

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Sharapova was taken the full distance by American Coco Vandeweghe to reach her 5th Wimbledon semi-final on Tuesday. The Russian No4 survived a seven-minute opening game to take control of the first set. She remained dominant at the start of the second set but slipped away and Vandeweghe took the tie-break to set up a decider. Sharapova regrouped in the last set and grunted her way to victory 6–3 6–7 (3–7) 6–2.

Williams recovered from a set down to defeat Belarusian Victoria Azarenka 3–6 6–2 6–3 in their quarter-final – her 26th consecutive win at the majors since Wimbledon 2014. But first she had to beat British No1 Heather Watson in a close third-round match on Friday. The 23-year-old battled back from a one-sided first set to win 6 straight games in the second set, but Williams managed to take the decider to win 6–2 4–6 7–5.
Serena’s sister and former world No1 Venus also failed to stop her 12-month run when they met for the 26th time in the fourth round on Monday. Venus, 35, has won 11 of the sisters’ contests, including their last match in Montreal last summer.

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Williams will face Spain’s Garbiñe Muguruza in the final. Muguruza beat Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland 6–2 3–6 6–3 to reach her first ever Grand Slam title yesterday. The Spanish newcomer led by a set but Radwanska came back to win 6 straight games and level out at one set all. Muguruza held her nerve and set up a 4–2 lead. Radwanska had two break points at deuce in the final game when she challenged a Muguruza shot that just clipped the line. The Spaniard took the advantage and won the next match point to become the first Spanish female finalist since Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario in 1996.
Now, Muguruza – who stunned Williams in the second round of the French Open last year – could become Spain’s first women’s champion since Conchita Martínez in 1994.

bbc.co.uk/sport


Aaron Waterhouse
Aaron is a recent English graduate from Durham University who is now working as a content writer intern. An enthusiastic traveller, he hopes to become a journalist and report from around the world. Follow him @AaronAtSMF

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SerenaSlam: Williams Aims for 6th Wimbledon Title Reviewed by Aaron Waterhouse on Friday, July 10, 2015 Rating: 5

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