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Serena grabs sister's Wimbledon title

Serena Williams has won her first Wimbledon title
Serena Williams has won her first Wimbledon title  

LONDON, England -- Serena Williams is the new Wimbledon ladies champion after beating her sister and defending title-holder Venus.

The younger Williams sister triumphed 7-6 6-3 to end Venus' hopes of becoming the first woman since Steffi Graf to win the title three times in a row. (Match report)

"It was now or never because I was playing the two-times champion," said Serena, 20. "It's hard to beat Venus here.

"I definitely really was fighting in the first set, and played well in the tiebreak. She played well and wouldn't stop running the ball down."

Venus, 22, conceded defeat graciously but still spoke of her fondness for the tournament.

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"Sometimes you have to accept it," she said. "This is where it's at, at Wimbledon, this is where it all started."

Serena took the opening set after coming out on top after three straight service breaks in the middle of the opening set, the final one gifted to her courtesy of a double fault and backhand error from Venus.

But Venus was not giving up with a third straight Wimbledon title within her sights, and broke back as Serena served for the set, Serena bouncing her racket off the turf in frustration after netting a simple backhand.

She made amends in the tie-break however, taking it 7-4 on her second set point with an ace.

Umpire Jane Harvey initially called a let in the belief the ball had clipped the net, but neither player seemed to hear as the crowd applauded, and Harvey simply shrugged her shoulders as the duo took their seats.

Venus was constantly facing a battle to hold serve and saved two break points in her opening service game of the second set after two double faults.

Serena, Venus
Venus (right) had won five out of the pair's eight meetings  

She went 0-30 down on three straight service games and eventually the pressure told, Serena breaking for a 4-2 lead.

Just as in the first set however, Venus broke straight back only to then be broken again due to another costly double fault to give Serena a chance to serve for the match.

Saturday's match was the first time siblings had contested a Wimbledon final for 118 years.

Serena toppled Venus in the French Open last month, and sailed through the first six rounds at Wimbledon without dropping a set.

Venus beat her sister on her way to her first Wimbledon triumph in 2000 and got the better of her in last September's U.S. Open final.


• Serena defeats Venus for Wimbledon title
Saturday July 06, 2002 10:39 AM
• Sisters bid for Wimbledon title
July 6, 2002

• Wimbledon

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