Sixth seed Serena Williams will play her elder sister Venus, seeded seventh, in Wimbledon finals for the third time, after ending an impressive run of China’s world No.133 Zheng Jie. Final score: 6-2 7-6(5).
Williams’ serve was impressive throughout the semifinal and Zheng could barely win a point on her opponent’s serve. The exception to this rule was only the second part of the second set, when Zheng even managed to break strong Williams for a 4-2 lead. However, Zheng’s lead didn’t last long, Williams broke back right away. Zheng, however, had one more chance to stay in the match — when she had a set point to force the third set. Disappointingly, Zheng netted a backhand and Williams gave her no more such opportunities from then on. In the tiebreak, Williams scored victory on her first match point with Zheng double-faulting. Unfortunately, this was a poor end of Zheng’s otherwise great performance.
Zheng lost today to the two-time champion at the grass-court Grand Slam, but she was so successful at Wimbledon that people in China have changed their MSN names into ‘Zheng Ji go’, ‘Zheng Ji keep going’, and things like that. Zheng is the first Chinese tennis player to reach the semifinal of a Grand Slam in singles and is only third Asian woman to do so. Not to mention that Zheng dumped out world No.1 Ana Ivanovic, then seed No.15 Agnes Szavay, and seed No.18 Nicole Vaidisova next at Wimbledon 2008.
Reaching the final four at Wimbledon will see Zheng rise from No.133 in the world to around No.41.
BTW: Zheng, born in Sichuan province, will donate her winnings from this year’s Wimbledon to victims of the Sichuan earthquake (except for the portion of the money which will have to go to the tennis association). (photo: Getty Images)