37-year-old Venus Williams powered through to a ninth Wimbledon final on day ten at SW19, as the tenth seed ended Johanna Konta‘s run to edge closer towards an eighth grand slam title.
The American’s last major title came here in 2008 where she defeated sister Serena and she moved to one win away from ending a nine-year wait for a sixth Wimbledon title with a 6-4 6-2 win against her 26-year-old opponent.
British number one Konta pulled off a big win over second seed Simona Halep in the quarter-finals but she met her match in Williams, who ended Great Britain’s hopes for a first female British champion since Virginia Wade 40 years ago.
Williams put the sixth seed under pressure in her opening four services games by forcing her to 30-30 or deuce, but Konta managed to play her way out of trouble before earning the first two break points of the match at 4-4.
However, this time it was Williams battling her way out of trouble with a backhand winner and a 106mph second serve and when Konta sent a backhand long, it gifted Williams the crucial break in the tenth game to hand the 37-year-old the set.
Williams carried her momentum into the second set as a Konta double-fault opened up three break points and while the Briton saved two of them, Venus went 3-1 ahead with backhand down the line asked too much from her opponent’s forehand.
There was to be no comeback from the Konta from there, as the five-time champion broke again at in the eighth game to seal her place in a ninth Wimbledon final with a forehand down the line on her third match point.
It is the first time since 2009 that Venus Williams has reached the final at the London grand slam, as she becomes the oldest finalist at Wimbledon since Martina Navratilova 23 years ago.
Williams will face 2015 finalist Garbine Muguruza for the prize in Saturday’s final, as the Spaniard brushed aside Slovak opponent Magdalena Rybarikova to move to one win away from a second grand slam title.
The 14th seed had dropped just one set on her way to reaching a third grand slam final, as she crushed the world number 87 6-1 6-1 in just over an hour to keep hopes of a first Wimbledon title alive.
Rybarikova had enjoyed her best grand slam performance including knocking out third seed Karolina Pliskova in the second round, but a test against the former French Open winner was too much for her to handle.
Muguruza arrived into Centre Court with a heavy strapping on her left thigh but it was nothing to worry about for the 23-year-old, as she broke her opponent twice to race into a 5-0 lead after just 25 minutes.
Slovakian Rybarikova looked nervous in her first grand slam semi-final as she only managed to hold serve for 5-1, before Murgurza calmly served out the set to take the lead.
The momentum continued to stay with the 2016 French Open champion, as she crushed a backhand winner off a 79mph second serve to take a 3-0 lead in the second set with the double break.
There was to be no way back for the world number 87 who eventually won just a second game of the match after a long service game, but Muguruza confidently served out the match clinching victory when Rybarikova hit a forehand into the net.
Muguruza looks to become just the second female Spaniard to claim the Wimbledon title with coach Conchita Matrinez being the only previous Spanish woman to win the title in 1994.