Finally:  Venus Williams celebrates her semifinal victory over Johanna Konta at Wimbledon on Thursday. Picture: AFP
Finally: Venus Williams celebrates her semifinal victory over Johanna Konta at Wimbledon on Thursday. Picture: AFP

London — Venus Williams became the oldest Wimbledon finalist for 23 years on Thursday as the American star ended Johanna Konta’s history bid with a masterful 6-4 6-2 win.

Twenty years after making her Wimbledon debut, five-time champion Williams is into her ninth final at the All England Club and her first since 2009.

The 37-year-old’s sublime display of power-hitting on centre court stopped Konta becoming the first British woman to make the final for 40 years and set up a title match against Spain’s Garbine Muguruza.

Venus took only 73 minutes to become the oldest Wimbledon finalist since Martina Navratilova in 1994.

"I’ve played a lot of finals here. It’s been a blessing. I couldn’t ask for more, but I’ll ask for a little more! One more would be amazing," Venus said.

"I thought the crowd were so fair. Jo gave it her all. It’s a lot of pressure. I think my experience was important."

Muguruza is aiming to become the first Spanish woman for 23 years to win Wimbledon — and yet again a Williams sister stands in her way.

The 23-year-old stormed into the final brushing Magdalena Rybarikova aside 6-1 6-1.

Only one Spaniard has previously lifted the Wimbledon women’s title — Conchita Martinez, who has been coaching Muguruza at this tournament.

It will be Muguruza’s second Wimbledon final having been defeated in 2015 by Venus’ sister Serena, a seven-time winner.

"I always stare at the wall where there are all the names of the previous winners. In the past years, you see the Williams surname a lot," Muguruza said.

"So I look forward to putting a Spanish name back there."

Muguruza, the 14th seed, said she felt far better mentally prepared for the final this time.

"I feel much more calm, am kind of controlling my emotions more than the last time," said Muguruza, who won the 2016 French Open, saying that she was drawing on the experience of Martinez.

Reuters

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