Six-times champion Serena Williams has made light work of Elena Vesnina’s challenge to storm into her ninth Wimbledon final.
The top-ranked titleholder swept past the unseeded Russian 6-2 6-0 in just 49 minutes on Thursday to edge within one win of Steffi Graf’s open-era record 22 grand slam singles crowns.
At 34, Williams is the oldest woman to make the final at the All England Club since Martina Navratilova in 1994.
But her 36-year-old sister Venus could well take that mantle from her later on Thursday if she caps her incredible comeback with victory over German fourth seed Angelique Kerber in the second semi-final.
Runner-up to Kerber in this year’s Australian Open final and then beaten by Garbine Muguruza in the French Open decider last month, Serena looked on a mission against Vesnina.
She raced to a 4-0 lead before allowing the world No.50 to get on the scoreboard, then clinched the opening set in 28 minutes.
Williams was even more ruthless in the second set, conceding a meagre five points and wrapping up victory with her 29th winner.
In a serving masterclass, Williams fired down 11 aces and lost only three points on serve all match.
Champion in 2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2015, Williams’ only finals defeats on London’s famous grass courts came against Venus in 2008 and Maria Sharapova in 2004.
She will be contesting her 27th grand slam final in total on Saturday and could well be playing Venus for the trophy for a fifth time.
“That’s the ultimate goal for both of us,” Serena said.
“So I want her to do well.
“Either way I look forward to it.”
Serena said it was hard to comprehend she was into her ninth final at the home of tennis – 14 years after her first.
“It’s weird,” she said.
“I can’t believe I’m in the finals again.
“Obviously I’m 0 for two (this year) so hopefully I can win one this year.”