Australian Open 2017: Venus Williams reaches Semis

A jubilant Venus Williams after defeating Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 7-6 (3) during their quartefinal match at the Australian Open, January 23, 2017. PHOTO/Reuters

It was a long time coming for Venus Williams, who reached her 21st Grand Slam semifinal but her first at the Australian Open in 14 years.

The 36-year-old Williams beat No. 24-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 7-6 (3) on Tuesday, becoming the oldest player to reach the semifinals here in the Open era.
She will be meeting CoCo Vandeweghe next.

Meanwhile, younger sister Serena, aiming for a record 23rd Grand Slam title, plays Johanna Konta in the remaining women’s quarterfinals.

Hasn’t dropped a set

Venus Williams has advanced through the tournament without dropping a set, and is not ready to stop in the semifinals in the latest installment of her career revival.
“It’s wonderful to start the year out with this appearance,” said Venus Williams, who hadn’t reached the semifinals in Australia since 2003, the year she lost the final to sister Serena. “I want to go further. I’m not happy just with this. But I’m so happy to be in the position to like go further.”

Williams didn’t reach the quarterfinals at any of the Grand Slams from 2011 – when she was diagnosed with the Sjogren’s syndrome, which saps energy and causes joint pain – until the 2015 Australian Open. She lost in the first round here last year, but returned to reach the semifinals at Wimbledon.

Williams said the quarterfinal results were a “great win for the U.S.”
“I’m sure Vandeweghe is going to want to be in her first final,” Williams said. “I’m going to want to be in only my second final here. So it’s going to be a well-contested match.”

With her run to the Wimbledon semifinals last year, Williams became the oldest woman since Martina Navratilova (at 37 years, 258 days) in 1994 to advance so far at a major.

All-Williams Final?

There’s also the possibility of another all-Williams final.

But Venus doesn’t plan to be thinking about who was on the other side of the net. She is focused on Grand Slam title No. 8.
“I try to believe,” she said. “I’d like to be a champion, in particular this year. The mentality I walk on court with is: ‘I deserve this’.”

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press