Venus Williams sets up Muguruza final as Konta falls

July 14, 2017

Johanna Konta's Wimbledon dream is over for this year - but Venus Williams could be about to secure her sixth title at the All England Club 17 years after her first.

Konta has had an outstanding Wimbledon, but on this occasion she was defeated by a veteran superstar who showed not only that she is far from finished at the age of 37, but that she has a determination to keep the trophy in the Williams family.

Indeed, with Serena now heavily pregnant, many top players will have hoped they had an opportunity to land the big prizes this year, but while Jelena Ostapenko won her first Grand Slam at Roland Garros, neither Konta nor the other beaten semi-finalist Magdalena Rybarikova could set up the chance to do likewise.

Rybarikova was swept aside 6-1, 6-1 by a superb display from Muguruza, who lost the 2015 final to Serena. Konta, however, put up a better fight against Williams, having two break points at 4-4 in the first set. 

However, the American produced the big serves at the key moments and with a concerted attack on Konta's second serve - the Briton won just 33 per cent of points on them - went on to break to take the first set 6-4 and then the second 6-2. 

For British fans, it means the wait goes on for a female winner to follow 1977 champion Virginia Wade, but this was still an excellent campaign for a player who had only won once in the main draw at Wimbledon before this year. Konta will be up to five in the WTA rankings when they are published next week.

Speaking after the match, she said: "Today it came down to the day, and Venus played better than me. The few opportunities that I did get, she did incredibly well to take them away from me.

"Making the top five is nice. But I’m not satisfied. There are a lot of exciting things that I can still get better at, which is exciting for me and exciting for my team, and my own development."

While fans can anticipate greater things from Konta in the years ahead, they can also marvel at the enduring excellence of Venus Williams. 

Men's tennis fans can still do this with Roger Federer, of course, with the 35-year-old now a hot favourite to win a record eighth gentlemen's singles title. He will face Tomas Berdych in the semi-finals today (July 14th), with Marin Cilic against Andy Murray's conqueror Sam Querrey in the other match. Of the 19 Grand Slams won by the semi-finalists, Federer has 18 and Cilic one - the 2014 US Open. Berdych was a Wimbledon finalist in 2010, while Querrey has yet to reach a final. Fans booking corporate hospitality for the ATP World Tour Finals may note that players finishing outside the top eight can still qualify if they win a Grand Slam, something Cilic did in 2014 and could happen to Querrey this time. 

While British singles hopes are over, they are riding high in the mixed doubles. Jamie Murray and Martina Hingis have joined Heather Watson and her Finnish partner Henri Kontinen in the last four. 

Watson and Kontinen will face Bruno Soares and Elena Vesnina in the semi-finals, while Murray and Hingis play Marcelo Demoliner and Maria Joze Martinez Sanchez. 

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