(April 6th, 2013) -- The 24th career meeting between Venus Williams
and Serena Williams
attracted the largest single day crowd in Family Circle Cup event history. Unfortunately, the anticipated occasion did not result in a satisfying match that was the first meeting between the two sisters in over three years.
Though the elder Williams sister cracked a return winner to start off the first semi against her younger sister, it soon became clear this would be all about Serena. While each exchanged rallies at times during the first set, Venus Williams couldn't sustain any sort of momentum as the younger Williams jumped out to a 4-0 lead thanks to two service breaks.
Venus did get one of the breaks back, but it wasn't enough to dent Serena's charge as she held easily to close out the set 6-1 on the strength of 11 winners.
While the 9,538 fans on hand enthusiastically cheered on Venus Williams in hopes she would mount a comeback, it wouldn't happen. While Serena appeared to played at about half speed for most of the match, Venus struggled to stay in touch with her sister despite getting to 30-all in the majority of the games.
Down break point late in the second set, an awkward miss from Venus set up her sister to serve for the match up 5-2. Serena calmly closed out the next game to love to wrap up the 6-1, 6-2 win.
When asked later if having to play back to back matches yesterday was a factor in today's match, Serena said about Venus, "I mean she'll never admit it, ever, but I don't think she was 100 percent. But you will never get that out of her, and quite frankly, three matches for her is much tougher than three matches for me. And so you know, it's definitely not easy, because I'm struggling, and I can't imagine what she must be feeling."
Despite the loss, Venus herself took positives away from what was her best result this year so far.
"It was a really great week for me, and I think this is some of the best I've felt in a very long time. So for me it's something to build on. If I have opportunities to continue to play and continue to get myself in situations, and this week, like I had a lot of situations that I need to be in, like playing 4‑4 games, and sometimes I would lose a set, but it was good for me to be able to play and just get in those situations and come through. So I need more of that. And obviously Serena is playing extremely well, and it's great to see her at No. 1 and just fulfilling every dream."
Jankovic Gets Past Voegele to Reach Finals
Former champion Jelena Jankovic
finds herself aiming for a second title in Charleston after she got past a tough Stefanie Voegele
in the second semifinal.
Jankovic secured the first set 6-4 but then found herself battling the upstart Swiss player who was competing in her first ever Premier level semi. Voegele, with the help of several stunning winners off of her forehand, forced Jankovic into what would become a tense tiebreak.
Voegele converted on her fifth set point after Jankovic couldn't dig out a volley and that sent things into a decider.
Down 0-2 in the final set, Jankovic looked weary and perplexed at her opponent's display of power and finesse. But after a coaching consult, Voegele lost her focus and soon Jankovic reeled off five straight games. Jankovic pushed Voegele as she served to stay in the match and it was the Serbian who came out on top 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-2.
Afterwards, Jankovic talked about the challenge of playing Serena in the finals despite having a close 5-4 head to head in favor of the current World No. 1.
"Like I said, she's No. 1 player in the world in the moment, playing so well," said Jankovic. "She's in great form. She's a favorite. You know, despite her results in the past, I mean this year and last year. But I'm going to go out there and try to play my best tennis and try to go for it. I have nothing to lose, and it's a great occasion. It's the finals. There is only two left in the tournament. It doesn't get better than that."