By Erik Gudris | Friday, August 8, 2014
One of the longest rivarlies in all of tennis returns as Serena Williams faces sister Venus Williams in the Montreal semifinals.
Photo Credit: AP
One of the most iconic rivarlies in all of tennis resumes in Montreal.
Battling back from a set down each, Serena Williams and Venus Williams booked yet another historic showdown against each other in the Rogers Cup semifinals. A meeting even more special, and, perhaps more ironic, considering each has rarely played in the Canadian city until this week.
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Many never thought they would face each other across the net again. Now, both sisters find themselves in a key match weeks before the upcoming US Open.
Top seed and defending champion Serena Williams faced off against good friend No. 11 seed Caroline Wozniacki. The quarterfinal proved an intriguing match right from the start.
Showing confidence, Wozniacki stood her ground earlyagainst the World No. 1. Wozniacki, taking hold of a service break, claimed the first set 6-4.
The former No. 1 Wozniacki looked poised to perhaps pull off the upset after going up a break in the second set. Williams, not backing down, would rally and force a deciding set.
Williams, despite blowing a break lead in the third set, pulled through at the end. When Wozniacki sent a final shot long on the third match point, Williams celebrated the 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 result.
That left older sister Venus Williams to fulfill her part in the potential all-Williams encounter. First, she had to get through Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro. That proved a tough test especially after Suarez Navarro claimed the opening set and took an early lead in the second.
Williams responded by rolling off six straight games to take the second and force a deciding set. A battle of forehands dominated the third set between each player. Yet Williams, with a final big serve, closed out the 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 win.
The outcome set up the 25th career meeting between the Williams Sisters. Serena Williams leads the overall head to head 14-10, including winning their last meeting at Charleston back in 2013.
"I definitely don't like playing her...I think I've lost to her more than anyone else on the tour," Serena said to WTA.com. "So it's definitely not a fun match for me, to be honest. But she's tough. She has a great serve. She runs every ball down. She has a great backhand. She hits winners off the forehand. She just does everything well, so it's not an ideal match-up for anyone, to be honest."
Venus, for her part, looks forward to the opportunity. Especially after winning her third three set match this week.
"I can't tell you how many times I've played this many matches in a row," Venus Williams said. "Probably since 2010 have I had this opportunity to play."
After battling an auto-immune disorder for several years and hearing endless questions about retirement, Venus Williams now finds herself projected to return to the top 20 again with her run this week.
For her part, defending US Open champion Serena Williams wants to continue her momentum having recently won Stanford last week.
After a season where young, up and coming stars have dominated the headlines, Williams versus Williams, now both 30 plus, once again becomes the must-see match in all of tennis.
Notes and Numbers:
Venus has lost the last five battles against her younger sister, and hasn't defeated Serena since 2009 in Dubai.
The Williams sisters have amassed 106 WTA titles between them, and they've topped $86 million in prize money.
Their first meeting occurred in 1998, more than 16 years ago, at the Australian Open. Venus won in straight sets.