11 Jul 2015

Williams powers into Wimbledon final

12:12 pm on 11 July 2015

Serena Williams has powered into her eighth Wimbledon final, the world No.1 maintaining her 11-year mastery of Maria Sharapova in a straight sets semi-final win.

Williams took just 79 minutes to blitz Sharapova 6-2 6-4 with 13 aces, as the five-time Wimbledon champion secured her 18th career win in 20 meetings with her bitter rival.

The 33-year-old American will play 21-year-old Garbine Muguruza in Sunday's final.

Serena Williams is just one win away from holding all four major titles at the same time.

Serena Williams is just one win away from holding all four major titles at the same time. Photo: Photosport

Muguruza is the first Spanish women in almost 20 years to reach the final after she beat Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.

Williams, who extended her winning run at grand slams to 27 matches and her 2015 record to 38-1, is just one win away from holding all four major titles at the same time - a feat she last achieved in 2002-03.

She is also within touching distance of becoming the first woman to win the French Open and Wimbledon back to back since she last achieved that difficult double in 2002.

And, adding to the wealth of historic milestones in her sights, Serena remains in the hunt to be the first woman since Steffi Graf in 1988 to win a calendar grand glam.

It was another chastening defeat for Sharapova and, although the Russian world No.4 is due to return to No.2 in the rankings next week, the latest instalment of their one-sided rivalry provided further proof of the vast gulf in class.

Sharapova has to go back 11 years to recall her last success against Williams and had won only one set in their last 12 encounters.

Radwanska paid the ultimate price for following the orders of her coaching team rather than relying on her own instincts in the final game of her semi final against Muguruza.

With her Spanish opponent serving for the match at 6-2 3-6 5-3 and two points from victory at 40-40, Radwanska inexplicably stopped the next point mid-rally after hearing cries of "out, out" from people in her players' box who were convinced Muguruza's backhand had landed behind the baseline.

Hawk-Eye though showed the ball had clipped the baseline.

Radwanska glared up at her coaching team with Muguruza one point away from reaching her debut grand slam final and a point later it was all over.

"I did it because I'm the one to decide if I challenge or not. Nobody can do that for me," the 2012 Wimbledon runner-up said when pressed on the blunder at a news conference.

"It was 50/50 call. I decided to challenge. It wasn't a really good decision."

Despite Radwanska's attempt to play down the incident, Muguruza shared the view of everyone in the crowd that she had been influenced to make the call.