Potential Serena-Venus final
SERENA Williams admits she is shocked to be on the verge of meeting sister Venus in the Wimbledon final seven years after they last slugged it out for a Grand Slam title.
For the first time since 2009, both Serena and Venus have made it to the Wimbledon semi-finals. And the All England Club is abuzz with nostalgic chatter about the potential for a surprise showdown between the American stars in Saturday's final.
To make the dream match-up become a reality, defending champion Serena must beat Russian world No. 50 Elena Vesnina today.
World No. 8 Venus takes on Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber.
Between 2000 and 2010, Serena and Venus won a combined nine Wimbledon titles and made a total of 14 appearances in the final.
Four of those were all-Williams affairs in 2002, 2003, 2008 and 2009.
But, just when it seemed their duopoly in south-west London would never end, Venus was struck down in 2011 by Sjogren's syndrome, an illness that causes fatigue and joint pain.
Serena's win over her sister at Wimbledon in 2009 remains their last title clash.
Venus refused to contemplate retirement and gradually learnt how to manage her illness alongside reviving her stalled career.
Now, at an age when most of her contemporaries have long since called it quits, the 36-year-old has willed herself back into contention for an eighth Grand Slam crown.
It is a renaissance that makes Serena proud. But even the 34-year-old did not expect to still be in with a chance of contesting the sport's top prizes with her sister at this advanced stage of their careers.
"I'm surprised of the longevity of it.
"That kind of definitely took me by surprise," Serena said.
"It means Venus has a lot of perseverance. She's a real fighter. Like I always say, it's super inspiring for me.
"It's really great."