Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Subdued Serena overpowers sister Venus in uncomfortable Charleston waltz

updated 5:04 PM EDT, Sat April 6, 2013
Serena Williams continued her title defense in Charleston with victory over her older sister Venus in under an hour.
Serena Williams continued her title defense in Charleston with victory over her older sister Venus in under an hour.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Serena Williams beats older sister Venus to reach Family Circle Cup final
  • World No. 1 triumphs in less than an hour as she continues title defense
  • Williams will next play former top-ranked player Jelena Jankovic
  • Davis Cup champions Czech Republic lose doubles in Kazakhstan

(CNN) -- At times it was almost painful to watch. At one end of the court the world's No. 1 female tennis star playing well within herself; at the other her sister, a long way away from regaining that form and status.

"Venus has had a great week, and honestly, if she hadn't had to play so many matches, it would have been a much tougher match," Serena Williams said after comfortably beating her older sibling on Saturday to reach the final of the Family Circle Cup in Charleston.

The 31-year-old was slightly overstating the rigors of the competition in South Carolina, a tournament that heralded the formation of the women's tour back in 1973 but has this week attracted just two of the world's top-10 players.

Serena is one, and the other -- 10th-ranked Caroline Wozniacki -- crashed out in the quarterfinals on Friday against Swiss No. 63 Stefanie Vogele.

Read: Long-awaited clash for American siblings

Radwanska: Playing Serena was tough
Tommy Haas: My daughter motivates me
Chris Evert: Grooming future champions

Both Williams sisters won two matches on Friday to set up their first meeting since 2009, but it was defending champion Serena who looked the least affected as she won 6-1 6-2 in just 54 minutes.

"She'll never admit it, but I don't think she was 100%," Serena said of her sister, who was diagnosed with a debilitating autoimmune disease before the 2011 U.S. Open -- a grand slam she has won twice, along with her five Wimbledons.

"But you will never get that out of her. And quite frankly, three matches for her is much tougher than three matches for me. It's definitely not easy -- because I'm struggling, and I can't imagine what she must be feeling."

Venus, seeded fifth this week and ranked 24th, brushed off suggestions that her health issues had hindered her.

"I felt pretty good actually -- it would have been nicer to have more space between the matches, but it did not work out," the 32-year-old American said. "But I played under the same circumstances as everyone else, at least in the top half of the draw.

"I had a chance to win the match. We both had rackets. But I didn't take advantage of my chances. I was controlling the points, but then I would miss.

"I have to improve my game. I have to get in these situations more often. I've been off balance for a long time; I'm trying to regain my balance."

Serena extended her career record over Venus to 14-10, and has now won 70 of her past 74 matches as she seeks to win the tournament -- played on green clay -- for the third time.

Williams sisters show off dancing skills
Serena Williams: 'I'm in awe' of Venus
Venus Williams' passion for fashion

"I love playing on this court," said Williams, whose only defeat in her past 22 games on clay came in the first round of last year's French Open. "I love this tournament. I think it's a good clay court.

"Sometimes you play on certain clay courts and they're not good, and they're funny, and you can't really slide, or it's just weird. But this one is a really good one, particularly the last two years."

She will next face former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic, who ended Vogele's dream run with a hard-fought victory.

The Serbian ninth seed, ranked 18th, triumphed 6-4 6-7 (6-8) 6-2 in two hours eight minutes.

Jankovic also reached the semifinals in Miami last week before losing to Maria Sharapova, who Williams beat in the final for her record sixth title at Key Biscayne.

Meanwhile, in the men's Davis Cup teams competition, the titleholding Czech Republic missed the chance to wrap up a semifinal place after losing in Saturday's doubles against Kazakhstan.

Andrey Golubev and Yuriy Schukin beat Jan Hajek and Radek Stepanek 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 6-3 to reduce the deficit to 2-1 and give the hosts hope ahead of Sunday's reverse singles in Astana.

Argentina took a 2-1 lead at home to France, as David Nalbandian and Horacio Zeballos defeated Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra 3-6 7-6 (7-3) 7-5 6-3 in Buenos Aires.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 7:08 AM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
Rafael Nadal of Spain watches the ball in his match against Martin Klizan of Slovakia during during day seven of the China Open at the National Tennis Center on October 3, 2014 in Beijing, China.
Rafael Nadal's body might be giving him a few problems, but his mind remains as strong as ever. Will the Spaniard add to his haul of 14 grand slam titles?
updated 8:42 AM EST, Mon November 24, 2014
A year that began in uncertainty for Roger Federer ended with a historic title for the 17-time grand slam champion and his country.
updated 12:16 PM EST, Thu November 27, 2014
The Scot has served up a few changes to his support team in 2014 but there's one person who isn't going anywhere -- his new fiancée Kim Sears.
updated 8:48 AM EDT, Thu September 11, 2014
French Tennis player Rene Lacoste, one of France's 'Four Musketeers' who won the Davis Cup in 1932, at Wimbledon. He is wearing his embroidered crocodile motif. Original Publication: People Disc - HH0434 (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
His distinctive crocodile logo is seen on clothing all over the world, but Rene Lacoste also left a lasting legacy in the development of tennis.
updated 2:36 AM EDT, Tue September 9, 2014
Marin Cilic follows in the footsteps of his coach Goran Ivanicevic by claiming a grand slam crown for Croatia, winning the U.S. Open.
updated 9:34 AM EDT, Sun September 14, 2014
Serena Williams of the US holds the US Open trophy after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during their US Open 2014 women's singles finals match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Center September 7, 2014 in New York. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
Serena Williams is without peer in the modern women's game and now she is on a par with two American tennis legends from the past.
updated 9:21 AM EDT, Tue September 2, 2014
American tennis player and golfer Althea Gibson (right) receives a kiss from compatriot Darlene Hard, whom she beat in two sets to become the first black woman to win the Women's Singles Finals at Wimbledon.
Over the course of her remarkable life, Althea Gibson was many things to many people -- but it was tennis where she really left her mark.
updated 7:45 AM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
Canada and tennis? Really? Yup. The North American tennis power balance is swinging away from the States.
updated 8:52 AM EDT, Thu August 21, 2014
As a player he was as fiery as his hair -- and as Novak Djokovic's coach, Boris Becker says he has to battle to keep his emotions in check.
updated 7:02 AM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
Tennis great Boris Becker says he was stunned by the level of criticism he received after being appointed as Novak Djokovic's coach.
updated 7:01 AM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
"I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Mon June 30, 2014
When Agnieszka Radwanska refused to look her opponent in the eye after losing at Wimbledon, it raised more than eyebrows.
updated 9:14 PM EDT, Sun June 22, 2014
It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
updated 3:46 AM EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
He's regularly voted France's favorite famous person, but many of the nation's youth have "no idea" about his glorious sporting past
updated 11:55 AM EDT, Tue April 29, 2014
Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.
ADVERTISEMENT