Williams moves one win from sixth Wimbledon title

The Associated Press

LONDON — Wimbledon still brings out the best in Venus Williams.

With her latest display of gutsy serving and big hitting, the five-time champion beat Johanna Konta 6-4, 6-2 on Thursday to reach the title match at the All England Club for a ninth time — and first since 2009.

At 37, Williams is Wimbledon’s oldest finalist since Martina Navratilova was the 1994 runner-up at that age.

Williams also stopped Konta’s bid to become the first woman from Britain in 40 years to win the country’s Grand Slam tournament.

“I couldn’t have asked for more, but I’ll ask for a little more. One more win would be amazing,” Williams said. “It won’t be a given, but I’m going to give it my all.”

On Saturday, the 10th-seeded Williams will play in her second Grand Slam singles final of the season, and 16th of her career, against 14th-seeded Garbine Muguruza, who won 6-1, 6-1 over 87th-ranked Magdalena Rybarikova.

Williams will be seeking her eighth major singles trophy overall. Her most recent came in 2008, when she defeated her younger sister, Serena Williams, for the Wimbledon title. Serena Williams won a championship rematch the following year.

“She knows how to play, especially Wimbledon finals,” Muguruza, the 2015 Wimbledon runner-up and 2016 French Open champion, said of Venus Williams. “It’s going to be, like, a historic final again.”

Konta was a point from serving for the opening set when it was 4-all and Williams was serving down 15-40.

Williams hit a backhand winner down the line to erase the first break point, and got to deuce with a 106 mph second serve right at Konta’s body. That opened a run in which Williams won 12 of 13 points, and she wouldn’t face another break point in the match.

“She looks to dictate from the very first ball,” Konta said. “When she puts herself in a position to do that, she plays with a lot of depth, a lot of speed, and you don’t get much of a chance to get your, I guess, grip into the points.”

In the first semifinal, Muguruza won the point on 19 of 25 trips to the net and had a 22-8 advantage in winners.