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Venus Williams avenges sister Serena's US Open loss

2015-10-02 12:53:56

Venus Williams

Venus Williams won an absolute thriller - even saving match point - against her sister's US Open conqueror, Roberta Vinci, to reach the final of the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open.

Vinci has been having a career revival in recent weeks, including making the semifinals in Wuhan this week and, a few weeks ago, reaching her first Grand Slam final at the US Open. During that run in New York she defeated Serena Williams, ending the World No.1's quest for the Calendar Year Grand Slam.

On Friday big sister got some family revenge, but it wasn't easy by any means - after letting a 3-0 lead go en route to dropping the first set, 7-5, Williams went right to the grind, finding the range on her big serve and groundstrokes more and more to take the second set, 6-2, and go up 5-2 in the third.

Vinci wasn't done - she came alive again, winning the next four games in a row to go up 6-5 and have a chance to serve for the match. She even got to match point in that 6-5 game, going up 40-30.

But the No.15-seeded Italian missed her trademark backhand slice into the net to miss that match point and Williams pounced, ripping a pair of huge groundstrokes in the next two points to break back.

Williams ripped a huge swing forehand volley to go up 6-4 in the tie-break, her own first match point, and Vinci missed a forehand wide to give the former World No.1 a tense 5-7, 6-2, 7-6(4) victory.

The match stats told the story - not only was Williams more aggressive overall, hitting twice as many winners in the match, 48 to 24, but she also hogged the net as much as she could, winning 36 of 51 trips into the forecourt (Vinci was nearly perfect at net but came in less often - 17 of 18 points).

"Oh wow, I'm so excited to play the final!" Williams said in her on-court interview. "That was my dream when I came to this tournament, to play the final and have a chance for the title here in Wuhan.

"Roberta played so well today - she had match point - so it was lucky for me to win this match."

After the aforementioned victory over Serena Williams in Flushing Meadows, Vinci was a point away from becoming the first player this year to have wins over both Williams sisters. One player a year has done it the last three years - Angelique Kerber in 2012, Sabine Lisicki in 2013, Ana Ivanovic in 2014.

"Definitely watching the match at the US Open, I learned a lot from Serena," Williams commented.

"If I could, I'd give my win to Serena at the US Open - unfortunately it doesn't work like that."


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