SPORTSTennis

Serena thrives under pressure to seal all-Williams Aussie Open final

Having seen her sister Venus win her semi-final at the Australian Open on Thursday, Serena Williams admitted she felt the weight of history to seal her place in their first grand slam title decider in eight years.

That pressure was converted into a rampaging 6-2 6-1 win over Mirjana Lucic-Baroni that ended the 79th-ranked Croatian’s fairytale run at Melbourne Park and put Serena into a 29th slam final.

It took only 50 minutes for Serena to book the family reunion after Venus’s tough three-set win over unseeded Coco Vandeweghe at the same Rod Laver Arena court.

But a whole tennis era has passed since the Williams sisters last met on a comparable stage at the 2009 Wimbledon final.

Serena won in two sets that day and has since added another 11 grand slam singles titles to extend her tally to 22, a professional-era record she shares with Germany’s Steffi Graf.

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