Ageless Venus Williams targets sixth Wimbledon title

Garbine Muguruza wants place for her name alongside Wimbledon winners

Magdaléna Rybáriková

Petra Kvitova's brilliance has been sporadic since she won Wimbledon that year, her repeat triumph in 2014 being distinctly isolated before the awful assault last year.

Five-time champion Venus Williams is the oldest woman to reach the final since Martina Navratilova did it in 1994.

Serena is not at Wimbledon this year because she is pregnant and taking the rest of the season off, but Venus will likely be checking in with her for some advice ahead of the match.

Sports fans will getting their TVs and couches situated, their strawberries and cream ready, get brushed up on their Wimbledon betting tips and gear up for fantastic weekend of tennis in the world's most important and historic tennis event.

"She just loves to play and she enjoys going out there".

If Williams wins, she'll become the oldest Grand Slam champion in 109 years at 37 years old.

"There's definitely [been] a lot of ups and downs", she said. "Mine may have been a little bit different than his".

You have to try to hang in there and stay close. "So those are definitely similarities". She is still playing tennis and winning hard matches at an age when many of her peers have already left the sport and moved on to other ventures.

In 2011, the then-31-year-old was diagnosed with Sjögrens Syndrome, an autoimmune disease leading to fatigue, swollen joints, dry eyes, dry mouth and heavy limbs - she finished the year outside the top-100 for the first time since 1997.

In early June, Williams was involved in a auto accident near her home in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., that resulted in a man's death. Her quarter-final opponent was the highly experienced and tough competing Svetlana Kuznetsova, but once against Muguruza showed just how good her ball striking can be when in full rhythm, dismissing her 6-3/6-4 without dropping serve. He died 13 days later.

Yet for Williams, they've always been sisters first, competitors second.

All these years later, Wimbledon still brings out the best in Venus Williams.

Venus Williams is seeking a first Wimbledon singles title since 2008. She said she was "heartbroken" and there were "no words to describe how devastating" the crash was. "I like to take courage in the fact that I ve been playing well this tournament".

Their partnership has proved an instant hit as Martinez, who also coaches Spain's Davis Cup and Fed Cup teams, helped guide Muguruza back to the final two years after she lost to Serena Williams. I miss her a lot and I look forward to her coming back, ¿ the WTA website quoted Serena as saying. Now, the pair will do battle on the heels of the 2017 French Open, whose champion - Jelena Ostapenko - wasn't even born when Williams began her professional career.

She is very alert and it seems like she is more alert when she comes here.

"For me, it's incredible". The record is now owned by her sister Serena, who won the Australian Open this January at the age of 35.

Muguruza was absolutely ruthless in her Wimbledon semi-final, defeating Magdalena Rybarikova for the loss of just two games.

Muguruza - whose relationship with the media is similarly mixed - acknowledges that her opponent on Saturday is a special player. Muguruza, meanwhile, is 23 and owns one major championship, from the 2016 French Open.

"I think the serve is going to be very important, because she has a pretty big serve". "I think it's a good moment right now". She can do some tournaments very well, and some tournaments she can be out very quickly. It forces you to go for the lines and for the bigger second serves. Williams is her serene, measured self, but it must have been subconsciously liberating not to have her sister in the draw. She knows how to focus on the task at hand.

- The nine-year gap since her last Wimbledon title would also equal the longest winless gap between two Wimbledon victories (Evonne Goolagong Cawley, 1971 and 1980).

"So I think experience can either work against you or for you. That's where I want to be". "But there's still more to happen".

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