At age 37, Venus Williams has moved closer to the 1994 record of Martina Navratilova as the oldest Wimbledon finalist. Navratilova was 38 when she got to the final in 1994 and eventually ended up as runners up. But if she wins the title, she will be the oldest winner since 1968.
The last time she got to the final, she lost to her sister, Serena, in 2009.
On Thursday evening, Venus with display of gutsy serving and big hitting beat Jonna Konta 6-4, 6-2 to qualify for Saturday’s final match of the Wimbledon’s women’s singles.
It will be her ninth title match and first in eight years. What a match of record denial. Konta was aiming to be the first Briton to win the title in 40 years! Of course, Venus was delighted of her achievement. “I couldn’t have asked for more, but I’ll ask for a little more. One more win would be amazing,” she said. “It won’t be a given, but I’m going to give it my all.”
If she wins on Saturday when she faces Garbine Muguruza, it will be her sixth Wimbledon championship and eighth Grand Slam singles trophy overall. Her most recent came in 2008, when she defeated her younger sister, Serena, for the title at the All England Club. A year later, she lost the final to Serena.
Since 2009, Venus revealed that she was diagnosed with Jorgen’s syndrome, which can sap energy and cause joint pain. As time went on, there were questions about whether she might retire, especially after a half-dozen first-round losses at major tournaments. But she kept on going, and lately has returned to winning.
Her resurgence began in earnest at Wimbledon a year ago, when she made it to the semifinals. Then, at the Australian Open in January, Williams reached the final, where she lost to — yes, you guessed it — her sister. Serena is off the tour for the rest of this year because she is pregnant.
“I missed her so much before this match. And I was like, `I just wish she was here.’ And I was like, `I wish she could do this for me,'” Williams said with a laugh. “And I was like, `No, this time you have to do it for yourself.’ So here we are.”
On Saturday, the 10th-seeded American will participate in her second Grand Slam final of the season, and 16th of her career, this time against 14th-seeded Garbine Muguruza of Spain.