Serena Williams has made it to the finals for this year’s Wimbledon tournament:
The Wimbledon title will be on the line when Serena Williams and Vera Zvonareva square off in the final on Saturday, and if that wasn’t enough, here are a few other things each player has on the line.
Five reasons why Serena Williams wants to win the final
1. Finally beating someone other than Venus to win
This will be Serena’s fifth Wimbledon final, and each of her three victories has come over older sister Venus — in 2002, 2003 and last year. Venus did get the better of little sis once, in the 2008 final. In fact, the Williams sisters have won this tournament eight of the past 10 years.
One of the missing years came in 2006, when Serena didn’t play, and Amelie Mauresmo defeated Justine Henin in the final. The other, well that was when …
2. Not losing to another unheralded Russian in the final
… Maria Sharapova stunned Williams 6-1, 6-4 in the 2004 final, winning the title as a 17-year-old. So Serena has been here before — in the Wimbledon final, a heavy favorite against a lesser-known Russian playing her first Grand Slam final.
“The biggest thing is for me to stay positive and not put too much pressure on myself,” Serena said. “I’ve been in this situation before where I did put pressure on myself and actually ended up losing.
“On paper, it looks like I should win. But Vera, I’ve played her several times — she’s beaten some good people. Her last two matches she’s been down a set, so she’s obviously a fighter. She never gives up.”
Serena owns a 5-1 record head-to-head against Zvonareva, though they haven’t played since 2008 and three of the five wins have gone three sets.
3. Overtaking Billie Jean King in the all-time Grand Slam list
With 12 Grand Slam titles, Serena has outstripped the rest of her generation (Venus and Henin are well back with seven each) and is now focused on climbing the all-time list. She’s currently in a tie for sixth place with Billie Jean King but would take over sole possession of the spot with a win here.
4. Overtaking Justine Henin for most weeks at No. 1 (probably)
Serena will have notched 109 total weeks at No. 1 by the end of this week, which will put her just 10 behind Justine Henin’s mark of 119. If she wins Wimbledon, she’ll be all but assured of overtaking her this summer.
5. Restoring sanity to the tournament
What with Roger Federer and Venus Williams exiting in singles and the Williams sisters, the Bryan brothers, and Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic gone in doubles, it’s been a bad Wimbledon for the traditional favorites. Serena and Rafael Nadal are two who are still standing, and a Serena victory would at least ensure a logical end to one of the most bizarre women’s events in recent memory.
“If I go out, at least I went out with some great champs,” Serena joked. “I was in good company.”