Venus edges past Vandeweghe and into final

By Dejan Kalinic 26 January 2017
Venus edges past Vandeweghe and into final

Venus Williams moved into her first grand slam final since 2009 with a hard-fought win over Coco Vandeweghe at the Australian Open.

The seven-time major champion had to battle against Vandeweghe in their all-American semi-final, winning 6-7 (3-7) 6-2 6-3 on Rod Laver Arena on Thursday.

Williams' win in two hours, 25 minutes saw her advance to a 15th major final and second in Melbourne, having been runner-up in 2003.

World number 35 Vandeweghe enjoyed a stunning run, beating Angelique Kerber and Garbine Muguruza on her way to a first grand slam semi-final.

But she let momentum slip after winning a tight first set, and her wasted chances proved costly.

Williams took the opportunity presented to get back into the match, keeping on track a potential final against sister Serena.

However, the 36-year-old seemed to make the more nervous start of the pair and six unforced errors in the opening game saw her drop serve.

A running cross-court forehand winner by Williams set up a break back point in the next game, and it was handed to her by a Vandeweghe double fault.

Both players held serve relatively comfortably for the rest of the set, only for the first five points of the tie-break to go the way of the receiver.

Vandeweghe's power helped her to a 6-2 lead, the set won when the 13th-seeded Williams sent a backhand return well long.

However, Williams won 10 straight points early in the second set as Vandeweghe lost her way.

Williams broke again for 4-1, through back-to-back Vandeweghe double faults, to force a deciding set.

She carried that form into the third set, breaking in the opening game when Vandeweghe sent a backhand into the net.

Williams recovered from 15-40 to hold for 2-0 as Vandeweghe tried desperately to snatch back the momentum, but the veteran served impressively before closing out her win with another break when her opponent sent a forehand long.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN

Williams [13] bt Vandeweghe 6-7 (3-7) 6-2 6-3

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Williams – 30/35
Vandeweghe – 37/50

ACES
Williams – 11
Vandeweghe – 10

BREAK POINTS WON
Williams – 4/8
Vandeweghe – 1/13

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Williams – 57
Vandeweghe – 54

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Williams – 77/43
Vandeweghe – 76/40

TOTAL POINTS
Williams – 106
Vandeweghe – 96

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Dejan Kalinic

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