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Serena captures 3rd Wimbledon title

SERENA Williams beat her big sister Venus 7-6 (3), 6-2 yesterday for her third Wimbledon title and 11th grand slam championship.

In the fourth all-Williams final at Wimbledon, Serena came out on top for the third time by outserving her sister, lifting her game in the tiebreaker and dictating play throughout the second set.

By taking the title for the first time in six years, Serena stopped five-time champion Venus from becoming the first woman since Steffi Graf in 1991-93 to win Wimbledon three years in a row.

The Williams sisters have won eight of the 10 Wimbledon singles titles this decade, and this time it was Serena who took the family honors on the Fourth of July, Independence Day in the United States.

When Venus slapped a backhand into the net on the fourth match point, Serena fell to her knees on the grass, eyes closed, arms raised, and threw back her head.

As always with Williams vs Williams matches, the celebrations were relatively muted.

The two sisters embraced at the net, with the 29-year-old Venus patting 27-year-old Serena on the back.

It was Serena's turn to hold up the women's trophy, the Venus Rosewater Dish.

"It feels so amazing," she said. "I'm so blessed. I feel like I shouldn't be holding the trophy. I can't believe I'm holding it. It's named for Venus and she always wins. It hasn't settled in that I won yet."

Serena beat Venus in the 2002 and '03 finals, before Venus prevailed in last year's championship match.

"Today she was too good," Venus said. "She had an answer for everything. She played the best tennis today, so congratulations."

The sisters were due back on Centre Court later for the women's doubles final, where they will face Samantha Stosur and Rennae Stubbs of Australia. They are seeking their fourth doubles title and 10th grand slam crown overall.

Venus had come into the final as the favorite after playing some of the best grasscourt tennis of her career.

She hadn't dropped a set in 17 consecutive matches at Wimbledon, but couldn't cope on this day with the fierce competitive drive and relentless power game of her sister.

"I don't think the loss has settled in yet so I'm still smiling. I've had so many great times here and of course I'm looking forward to next year and the doubles final."

Serena now has a 11-10 edge overall and 6-2 in grand slam finals against her sister. Once again, Serena's superiority in the big matches came through.


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