(July 9, 2015) Serena Williams continued her 11 year win-streak against Maria Sharapova on Thursday, beating the 2004 Wimbledon champion 6-2, 6-4 to reach her eighth Wimbledon final and 25th major final overall. It was the world No. 1’s 17th straight win over the Russian.
Williams is now just a victory away from winning a fourth straight major title, a “Serena Slam” as she dubbed it when she won four straight majors in 2002-03. Should she win on Saturday it would be her 21st major title and third leg of a calendar grand slam. The last woman to win a Grand Slam was Steffi Graff in 1988.
Williams overpowered the Russian with 29 winners and 13 aces.
“At least I made it to a final of four,” Williams said after the match. “That’s pretty good. That’s pretty good.”
Williams is now on a 27-match win streak in majors.
“I think it definitely gets better,” she said. “It’s been a long time since I’ve been in the final here. I just feel really good just to be in another final, so it’s really cool.”
Williams last won Wimbledon in 2012, she has five titles at the All-England Club.
“I always expect her to play the best tennis against myself and a few other elite players,” Sharapova said. “She does always come up with great tennis. You have to be able not to just produce your best tennis, but more. Obviously it hasn’t happened for me.”
“I think she had better depth than I did on her shots. That certainly makes a big difference.
“I think one of the things she does extremely well is to take her from a defense position into the offense again. I was not able to do that.”
“Well, it’s never easy to beat such a great player who’s had such a wonderful career,” Williams said. “So, you know, I don’t know. “Whenever you play someone that you know, has beaten you before, you really get really focused, I think. That’s what I do.
“Whenever I know I have to play Maria, I know I have to be focused because she wasn’t the best in the world for no reason.”
The 33-year-old Williams will face 21-year-old, the 20th seed Garbine Muguruza, who defeated Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2, 3-6, 6-3. She’s the first woman from Spain to reach the Wimbledon final since Arantxa Sanchez Vicario did in 1996.
The Spaniard is 1-2 against Williams, with her lone win coming in the second round of last year’s French Open 6-2, 6-2, her worst loss in games in a major tournament.
“You work all your life to achieve Grand Slam final, to be in this situation,” said Muguruza. “It’s like a dream, like a present after the hard work.”
“I think is the best final you can play,” the Spaniard added. “You know, to have Serena in the Wimbledon final I think is the hardest match you can have.
“If you want to win a Grand Slam, when you dream, you say, I want Serena in the final. She’s like one of the best players in all these years. So it’s obviously I think the best challenge to have.”
“Because she has like so many good things. She’s stronger, good mentality, good shots, power, confident. You know, a lot of things that make her a great player.”
“It’s definitely not an easy matchup,” Williams said. “She actually has a win against me. We had a tough match the last time we played. And she’s given me problems in the past.
“So this time I have to just, you know, go in it like have fun and do the best that I can, just try to stay positive and stay focused.”
“I lost to her last year, I believe. It was an eye‑opening loss for me, “Williams noted. “Some losses you’re angry about, and some losses you learn from. That loss I think I learned the most from in a long time.
“I got so much better after that loss. I was able to improve a lot. I worked on things.
“I didn’t see the results straightaway. But months later I started seeing the results more and more. I learned so much from that. You know, sometimes as much as you don’t want it or as bad timing as it could be, I don’t want to lose to anyone at a Grand Slam. But unfortunately, I did.
“But it was really an experience that helped me say, Okay, Serena, you want to be the best, you’re going to have to do certain things and you’re going to have to improve certain things.”
“I’ve been in this stage,” Serena added. “I’ve won so many Grand Slam titles. And, you know, I’m at a position where I don’t need to win another Wimbledon. I could lose tomorrow. Sure, I won’t be happy. But I don’t need another Wimbledon title. I don’t need another US Open. I don’t need any titles to make it.
“Every time I step out on court, the practice court, the match court, I do look at it as a more fun time because it’s not as much stressful as it was. Like getting to 18 was super stressful for me. It was fun, but I was so stressed out.
“After that, I’ve just been really enjoying myself.”
The Ladies’ final takes place on Saturday.