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Australian Open: Serena and Venus set up Melbourne finale day

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The Williams sisters, Serena and Venus, will meet in an Australian Open final for the first time since 2003 as the 30 somethings continued to show that age was just a number, booking their place in the final with dominant displays in the semi-final today.

Six-time champion Serena Williams defeated an exhausted and physically struggling Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-2, 6-1 in just 50 minutes in a very one sided contest. Lucic-Baroni, who had done remarkably well to reach her first Grand Slam semi-final this century, came into the match carrying an injury and was absolutely blown away by an in-form Serena, who looks the odds on favourite to capture a record breaking 23rd Grand Slam title.

 

She will now take on her elder sister Venus, who had earlier confirmed her place in the final of the first Grand Slam tournament by beating compatriot Coco Vandeweghe, 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-3.

After having dropped the opening set in the tiebreak, Venus upped her game in the second, breaking Coco's serve twice to run away with it. Venus broke Coco's serve early to start the third set and eased away with it as Coco struggled to make the most of the opportunities that came her way.

The younger American will be left ruing her missed opportunities, taking just 1 of 13 break point opportunities. Venus on the other hand was at her clinical best, taking 4 of 5 chances. She will need to keep up that kind of form if she is to seriously challenge Serena and win her first title at Melbourne.

Saturday's final will be the second time the two sisters meet at Melbourne Park for the title, after Serena's victory over Venus in in 2003. Serena and Venus have faced each other 27 times, with Serena leading the sibling rivalry 16-11.

Venus Williams said after her win, "It is unbelievable to watch Serena play tennis - the way she hits the ball and the competitor she is."

Her younger sister returned the complement saying, "I am really proud of Venus - she is a total inspiration. I am really happy for her and to be in the final together is a dream for us. She is my toughest opponent, no-one has ever beaten me as much as Venus. I feel no matter what that we have both won after all we have been through. I know a Williams is going to win this tournament."