LONDON, July 6 (Agencies): Serena Williams moved into the quarter-finals with a straight-sets victory over her sister Venus but was made to work far harder than the 6-4, 6-3 scoreline suggested.
In the past, the Williams sisters have been accused of not going for the jugular against each other. Not on this occasion. The ferocity of the groundstrokes from the very first point showed this was going to be no pillow fight. Winners were sprayed to all parts of the court: there were 37 in total in two sets. The match had a beautiful ferocity to it throughout.
The difference came down not to power, but consistency. For while Venus was able to produce magical shots, which left her sister’s racket flapping in the breeze, she hit flat spots in both sets. Serena rarely hit a stray shot when it mattered. Ultimately she was just too good.
As Serena pointed out afterwards it had a been a real battle. “She was playing really well,” she added. “It was really good to get it done in straight sets.”
There were ominous signs early on for Venus as she was broken to love in the opening game and could only watch as Serena’s powerful serve quickly won another game to love. The cries of “Come on Venus” grew in intensity. And there was an enormous cheer when she won her opening point of the match after losing the first eight.
And Venus was not going to go away quickly. She held her serve and then broke back immediately to make it 2-2. At this point the players were trading winners for fun, but frustratingly for Venus her forehand started to go wandering long and into the tramlines and she was immediately broken again.
She soon found it again, hitting a stunning winner at 3-4 down. Serena’s response? A 116mph serve that nearly took the line judge’s head off.
And it was Serena’s serve that was making the difference time and time again. In the first set she won 75 per cent of her first service points.
Other results: Victoria Azarenka beat B Bencic 6-2, 6-3. Radwanska beat J Jankovic 7-5, 6-4, Bacsinszky beat Niculescu 1-6, 7-5, 6-2.