Australian Open 2017 SF Preview | Venus Williams v Coco Vandeweghe

 

Ros Satar, in Melbourne

  • Venus Williams [13] v Coco Vandeweghe
  • Head to Head – Williams leads 1-0
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – An all-American semi-final sees Venus Williams try and reach the final for the first time since 2003, while Coco Vandeweghe bids for a spot in her first Slam final.

 

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Venus Williams [13] v Coco Vandeweghe – H2H: Williams leads 1-0

Coco Vandeweghe may have age on her side compared to the rest of the rest of the semi-finalists but there can be no doubting the amount of experience that will await her on the other side of the net.

Venus Williams will be eyeing a return to the finals of the Australian Open for the first time since 2003 – where she faced her sister for the title. She could do so again, after a focussed Serena Williams swept past Britain’s Johanna Konta and either way there will be at least one American in the final.

Williams had a tight opener, pushed in two close sets by Kateryna Kozlova before breezing through to the fourth round. Even though she got past both qualifier Mona Barthel and No. 24 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in straight sets, the second sets in both were hard fought.

Vandeweghe may not be as beloved of tennis fans as the graceful Williams, she has battered her way into her first Slam semi-final with the kind of power hitting that rendered the games of defending champion and World No. 1 Angelique Kerber, and French Open Garbiñe Muguruza as ordinary.

The question of respect has come up many times in the face of players whose records speak for themselves, and for Vandeweghe, Venus was no exception having asked her for her autograph when she was younger.

She explained, after her win against Muguruza: “She was already a great player when I asked for an autograph. Like I said out on the court, it’s a dream to play someone you grew up watching. To play an unbelievable player, future Hall of Famer, Venus, to be on the court with her, I’ve only experienced it one time before.

“But to do it at this stage of a Grand Slam is kind of crazy. I mean, I can’t really put it into words. Not only when I was younger, it was unknown if I even wanted to play tennis, because I was playing basketball as well. To definitely have two Americans against each other in the semi-final I think is pretty cool.”

For Williams, after the injuries, the illness, she will be facing a player with a similar solid striking game to her, so what did she think would make the difference?

“Power is her game, her strength. She’s putting the ball in with it. It’s awesome to see really. Of course, when you’re playing the person, you don’t mind if they “make a few errors. At this point in the tournament, you can’t expect that sort of thing.

“Honestly, I play a power game as well. I’ve been fortunate enough to play good defence and have good movement around the court. Hopefully this will be a plus for me.”

Experience may just win out this time.

Prediction: Williams in three sets.

 

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