Venus runs out of steam as Kerber breaks new ground


Venus Williams proved age is no barrier in her remarkable run to the Wimbledon singles semi-finals but clinical Angelique Kerber put paid to the seven-time grand slam champion's hopes of facing sister Serena in Saturday's final.

The evergreen Venus has long since had to fend off questions about when she will retire from a sport which she has served so well over the years.

At the age of 36, the seven-time grand slam champion was not expected to challenge for a sixth Wimbledon title this year, but she defied the odds to reach the last four.

Pacing out for yet another moment in the Centre Court sun on Thursday, Venus looked very much at home, but facing fourth seed Kerber proved to be one challenge too many.

Kerber beat Serena to win her first grand slam title at the Australian Open back in January and the sprightly German failed to read the script, winning 6-4 6-4 to reach her first final at the All England Club.

Defending champion Serena took only 48 minutes to brutally hammer Elena Vesnina in the first semi-final, so an expectant crowd were counting on Venus and Kerber to put on a show.

Venus ran out of steam, though, as her incredible singles exploits combined with playing in the doubles with Serena appeared to catch up with her.

Kerber stunned Serena in Melbourne and has proved that was no flash in the pan, with Venus struggling to cope with the left-hander's tactic of striking the ball early.

The assured Kerber drew roars from the gallows when she won a gripping rally in the first set and was in no mood to pass up her chance to play in a maiden final on the hallowed grass at SW19.

Venus, whose progress in the tournament has been even more incredible given that she suffers from debilitating illness Sjogren's Syndrome, put up a fight, as she has done so many times down the years, but she will have to watch her sister on Saturday rather than plot her downfall. 

Kerber unleashed a venomous forehand winner on the run to seal a straight-sets win and put an end to Venus' aspirations of facing her younger sibling in a fifth Wimbledon final.

The steely Kerber has not dropped a set en route to the final and will get a chance to dethrone Serena once again six months after taking the Australian Open title off the 21-time major champion.

Venus, on other hand, will surely not come as close to adding to her collection of grand slam singles titles.

But such is the character of Venus, she returned to court to team up with Serena and seal a place in the women's doubles semi-finals.