Venus and Serena Williams continue with their quest for Wimbledon glory as both players disposed of separate opponents. In the process, they advanced to the third round. If everything goes their way, the siblings will face each other for the 26th time -- with Serena’s quest for a fourth consecutive Grand Slam title on the line.
Despite a record-setting temperature of 95 degrees, the highest in Wimbledon’s history, the Williams sisters easily dispatched their respective opponents. The 35-year-old Venus outlasted 95th-ranked Yulia Putintseva, 7-6 (5), 6-4, while top-seeded Serena easily conquered 93rd-ranked Timea Babos, 6-4, 6-1. The Williams sisters now only need to win their next matches to serve against each other, a potential pairing that the more accomplished Serena is not taking lightly.
"She poses a big threat for me," Serena said of her sister. Serena holds an astounding 20 major titles and has racked up 23 consecutive wins in Grand Slam matches.
The sisters have already pulled out of the doubles competition, citing Serena's knee discomfort and her wish to focus on the singles competition with a fourth-straight Grand Slam title on the line. If she wins this year’s Wimbledon, she will join Steffi Graf as the only tennis players to accomplish a full calendar-year Grand Slam.
"Following yesterday's match, I feel it would be best for me to concentrate on singles here at Wimbledon, and as a result, have made the decision to withdraw from doubles," Serena recently explained.
Venus is experiencing a renaissance of sorts and is currently ranked 16th in women’s singles. If the Williams sisters collide in the fourth round, Venus will try to close the gap in their personal head-to-head record, in which Serena has won 14 of 25 matches. Despite her age, Venus has played well at Wimbledon, which her coach David Witt attributes to her confidence and comfort on the Wimbledon courts.