Venus Williams and Garbine Muguruza flawless in Wimbledon semifinals

Venus Williams of the United States returns to Britain's Johanna Konta during their Women's Singles semifinal match on day nine at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London Thursday July 13, 2017. (Andrew Couldridge/Pool Photo via AP)
Andrew Couldridge/Pool Photo via AP

Entertainment comes in different forms in sports, and that reality was on full display in the women’s Wimbledon semifinals.

After a flurry of thrilling three-set matches at both the French Open and Wimbledon, Thursday broke the pattern as first Garbine Muguruza and then Venus Williams advanced to the familiar territory of Saturday’s Wimbledon final.

In the first semifinal, Muguruza ended the unforeseen run of Magdalena Rybarikova, continuing her torrid form and overwhelming Rybarikova 6-1, 6-1 in little over an hour. She’ll play in her second Wimbledon final after coming up short two years ago to Serena Williams.

Muguruza has been criticized for her lack of consistency. However, at still just 23 years of age, the 2016 French Open champion is building up a big-match pedigree:

Williams, 37, followed by using her wealth of experience on the sport’s grandest stage to run away with what was a dead-even match against Britain’s Johanna Konta. A well-played battle to four games apiece in the opening set, Williams saved break points in that game and, as so often happens in tennis, broke the next game.

Konta had come from a set down against Simona Halep in a splendid quarterfinal but could not summon the same magic in this match against an opponent taking more of her time away. Williams kept her foot on the pedal to win going away 6-4, 6-2.

The Australian Open runner-up, Williams has reached multiple Grand Slam finals in a season for the first time since 2003. In addition, after not reaching the quarterfinals since 2010, the five-time Wimbledon champ has now followed up a semifinal showing last year with either a title or a final this time around.

Not only does she pass her sister for wins at Wimbledon with 87 (third behind Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert), Venus replaces, well, herself as the second oldest major finalist:

Williams leads the head-to-head with Muguruza 3-1, though none are very telling in regards to Saturday’s final. Two of the matches are from 2013 and 2014, while Muguruza retired in their 2015 meeting. In their only clash since then, Muguruza got her first win on the clay of Rome, which provides little predictive value given the vast difference in surface.

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