Venus Williams' emotional Wimbledon saga continues

Jelena Ostapenko
GETTYJelena Ostapenko won the French Open last month
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13 July, 2017

At about 1.10pm on June 9th, Venus Williams drove her 2010 Toyota Sequoia SUV at 5mph into an intersection, when a Hyundai Accent, driven by 68-year-old Esther Linda Barson, drove through a green light and hit the passenger side of Williams' auto. In an impressive follow-up to her stunning French Open title, she defeated No. 5-ranked Elina Svitolina of Ukraine on Monday, 6-3, 7-6 (6).

Rybarikova became the lowest ranked woman to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals for nine years as she shocked American 24th seed Coco Vandeweghe 6-3, 6-3.

Ostapenko is not able to sustain the early pressure by Venus Williams as she is getting blown away by the experience of the former champions.

Spaniard Garbine Muguruza, who lost to Serena Williams in the 2015 final, was handed a Court Two assignment for her clash with last year's runner-up and current world number one Angelique Kerber.

"People mention it to me and it seems like so long ago, I was only 21 at the time", he said.

"They're definitely here with me", said Venus after a 6-3 7-5 win over French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in the quarter-finals. The Latvian has been a cyclone of a player during that run but she vanished, lost in the storm of the Williams serve. Muguruza beat Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3, 6-4.

But Ostapenko, 20, was the youngest player left in the tournament and Venus has scythed through the draw by dispatching a series of opponents nearly half her age, many of whom idolised the her when they were growing up. The 97mph missile Williams delivered to clinch the first set left her opponent staggering out of its path, like the recipient of a pace bowler's steepling bouncer.

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"Maybe that's why the first two sets I was winning quite easy", Muller joked.

"They were cheering for me, I know". What I want to say is that I am sure she is good on both sides. It also was the first time in her career that she had beat a player who had won the previous major. The veteran, a crowd favourite, started strongly against Ostapenko, who had trouble stringing it together on her first time on Centre Court.

She and Murray think the All England Club should consider placing four matches — two men's, two women's — at each of the top two arenas on what's called "Manic Monday". "I'd never played mixed doubles before".

There was not so much as a break point on offer for Ostapenko in that opening set and when a glimmer of light appeared, she could not walk towards it. The Russian won the first set 7-5 and was trailing 0-1 in the second when she retired after 39-minutes of play. "Honestly, they were just cheering for me". I was not playing bad, but I was just not playing the way I wanted to play.

"I'm really speechless. I'm so happy and grateful".

Five-times champion Venus Williams is drawing on the emotional support of her absent sister Serena at Wimbledon as the 37-year-old American remains on course to seize one of her sibling's records should she go on to claim an eighth grand slam title.


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