Venus Williams captured her fifth Wimbledon singles title yesterday afternoon by defeating her sister Serena 7-5, 6-4 in a well-played match under tricky, windy conditions that seemed for the most part more of an exhibition of skill than a fierce contest.
Venus fought back from a break down in both sets to record her victory in one hour and 51 minutes.
"I can't believe it's five. But when you're in the final against Serena Williams, five seems so far away. She played so awesome, it was really a test,"
said the 28-year-old.
Venus could not forget her feelings for her younger sister Serena, but did her best to bury them in the deepest recesses of her soul. Her 7-5 6-4 win had the raw aggression of a prize fight, the undiluted drama of primetime soap opera. Only when it was it was over did Venus allow herself to give Serena a self-conscious hug, and acknowledge the difficulties of sibling rivalry.
"You can't detract from winning Wimbledon but I was definitely thinking about how my sister was feeling," she admitted. "I am in tune with her. But one of us has to win, and the other has to lose."
"My first job is big sister, I take that very seriously," Venus said on Center Court, in front of her family minus father Richard who was back in Florida.
Not long after losing to her older sister in the Wimbledon final, Serena Williams was already gathering the information she'll need to beat Venus the next time they face each other.
Venus repeatedly hit big serves into Serena's body to defeat her sister for the first time in three Wimbledon finals.
"I think that was her tactic, was to serve every ball into the body," Serena said. "I'm glad she did it, because next time I know what to expect. I think I did good with getting them back.
"I think I got a lot of those in-the-body serves. ... But I know next time playing what to expect, and I'll be even more ready for it."
Serena, glumly walking back to her chair to put on her trench coat, didn't even notice what her sibling was doing.
"I didn't see any celebration," Serena said. "I just kind of went over to my chair, so ... I wasn't paying attention."
Serena was able to celebrate on Centre Court later Saturday, because she and Venus teamed to win the doubles title over Lisa Raymond of the United States and Samantha Stosur of Australia 6-2, 6-2.
The victory improved Venus and Serena to 7-0 in Grand Slam doubles finals, and gave them their third doubles title at All England Club on the same day they played each other in their third all-in-the-family Wimbledon singles final.
"We've both worked really hard this year, and I think the results showed here, both in the singles and the doubles," Venus said after winning the Wimbledon singles title for the fifth time.
After match point, Serena raised her arms and hugged Venus.
"Serena thinks everything is supposed to go her way, that's the bottom line," said her mother, Oracene Price, who sat in the players' guest box for both matches. "She thinks that's the way it's supposed to go in life. But this is life."
"She's going to have to learn how to suck things up," Price added. "Say, 'OK, I'm not going to win everything. I just got to be, this is going to make me a better person, this will build character for myself and I have to learn how to lose."'
The Williams sisters have entered 34 tournaments as a team and won 11 titles, including the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Venus first won both singles and doubles titles at Wimbledon in 2000, and Serena matched that in 2002.
Including the prize money awarded to the singles champion and runner-up, along with what they earned for the doubles championship, the Williams family netted more than $2.5 million Saturday.
(source Canadian Press, photo/GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images,
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images, )