CHARLESTON, S.C. >> Serena Williams routed Venus Williams 6-1, 6-2 at the Family Circle Cup on Saturday, the most one-sided match in the sisters’ long rivalry.
Serena Williams won her 14th straight match at the Family Circle. She will play for her second straight tournament title Sunday against the winner of the other semifinal between Jelena Jankovic and Stefanie Voegele later in the day.
This was the first time since 2009 that the Williams sisters were playing each other in a tournament. Serena has won five straight in their series and leads 14-10. Serena said it was encouraging to see her sister reach the semifinals of the WTA tournament after her struggles of the past 18 months dealing with the autoimmune disease Sjogren’s syndrome.
“We’ve definitely been through a lot since our last match. But yeah, we all come together at the end and we just try to love each other like we always do,” Serena said.
Serena, ranked No. 1, surged to a 4-0 lead and won the first set in 22 minutes. Venus Williams, who withdrew from her previous event because of back problems, picked up her game a bit in the second set but it was hardly enough.
Serena Williams victory surpassed her 6-2, 6-2 win over Venus at Miami in 2002.
The match ended when Venus mishit Serena’s final serve, and the sisters simply shook hands at the net when it was over, neither looking overly pleased. Serena waited until her sister left the court before talking with an on-court interviewer and giving the crowd a few comments.
The Williams sisters came off a long, grueling Friday when both had to win twice to get this far and Serena shared that perhaps the full day of matches — three in less than 24 hours — took a toll on Venus.
“I mean she’ll never admit it, ever, but I don’t think she was 100 percent,” Serena said. “But you will never get that out of her, and quite frankly, three matches for her is much tougher than three matches for me.”
Still, Venus Williams was smiling when she walked into the packed stadium court for warmups. She jumped on Serena’s first serve immediately to win the first point — and it was largely downhill after that.
Serena’s powerhouse serves and accurate groundstrokes rarely gave Venus room to move. Serena regularly delivered serves in excess of 100 mph that Venus couldn’t handle.
Serena Williams won the final game of the first set at love, and Venus looked out of options about how to break through.
When Venus did have a chance to tighten up the second set, Serena made sure it didn’t happen.
Venus won two points on Serena’s serve trailing 3-2 in the second set. Serena Williams won the next two points with serves of 107 mph and 108 mph. She followed that with ace off a 117 mph serve that Venus looked at before changing sides. Serena quickly ended the game a point later to regain control.
Venus was happy with her week, if not how she played against Serena. “You know, I’ve been off balance for a long time and I’m trying to regain my balance,” she said.