CHARLESTON, S.C. — Serena Williams had completed a dazzling display of tennis to dominate her opponent and advance to her fourth finals of the year at the Family Circle Cup on Saturday.
Her excitement, though, was over the weeklong play of sister Venus despite big sister’s inability to slow down Serena.
“She’s had a great week,” Serena said.
So has Serena, who won her 14th straight match here with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Venus Williams — the most one-sided result in the sisters’ long, intense rivalry.
Serena got started early with her powerhouse serves and rarely let Venus gain any ground.
Still, Serena understands better than almost anyone what her older sister has gone through in recent years due to injury and illness.
“I think (the week) is positive looking for her and she can see the next, her next tournament be really more positive,” Serena said.
Serena Williams goes for her second straight tournament title and third here overall today when she’ll take on Jelena Jankovic, a 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-2 winner over Stefanie Voegele.
It was the first time since 2009 the Williams sisters were playing each other in a tournament and the excitement was felt throughout the Family Circle Tennis Center. A crowd of 9,538 filled Billie Jean King Court, a single-session record since the tournament moved from Hilton Head to Charleston in 2001.
Serena has won five straight in their series and leads 14-10 since they first faced each other at the Australian Open in 1998. Back then, Venus was the more polished player and began a run of five victories over Serena the first six times they played.
Things turned in 2002 with Serena’s 6-2, 6-2 win in Miami, the previous biggest sibling margin before this one.
Since, Serena holds a 13-5 mark and has played some of her best tennis the past year.
Since capturing this title in April 2012, Serena has won Wimbledon, Olympic gold, the U.S. Open and reclaimed the world’s No. 1 ranking.
“Obviously, Serena is playing extremely well,” Venus says, “and it’s great to see her at No. 1 and just fulfilling every dream.”
Venus Williams’ career hasn’t gone as well. The 32-year-old seven-time major champion was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease, Sjogren’s syndrome in 2011 and took six months off from the game.
The condition saps her strength, meaning she must manage her game more than ever. She and Serena both had to win twice Friday because of rain postponements earlier in the week, something Serena says surely affected her sister’s condition.