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Venus Williams Reaches Wimbledon Final At Age 37

Venus Williams returns to Britain's Johanna Konta during her victory in a semifinal match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London on Thursday.

It's been eight years since Venus Williams won a Wimbledon singles title, but she's now eyeing her sixth, after advancing to Saturday's final. Williams, 37, beat hard-serving Johanna Konta, the world's No. 7 player, on Thursday.

Konta had seven aces in the semifinal match with Williams, but she also served up four double faults — including one that cost her a crucial game early in the second set. Williams won, 6-4, 6-2, despite hitting only one ace.

"I had a lot of issues," Williams said afterwards. "This year's been amazing, in terms of my play — and playing well into the big events."

In addition to her resilient play this season, Williams has been in headlines because of her involvement in a Florida traffic accident in early June that later resulted in a man's death. Earlier at the Wimbledon tournament, Williams left a news conference after growing emotional when discussing the incident.

After Thursday's win, Williams said she had also been thinking about her sister, Serena, who skipped this year's Wimbledon because she's in the final trimester of her pregnancy.

"I miss her so much," Venus said. "And I tried to take the same courage on the court that she would've. I did think of that, and I tried to do the things she would do — I don't know that I play exactly the same way she does, but I really tried to be inspired by it."

This is the second Grand Slam final for Williams this year. In January, she lost to Serena in the finals of the Australian Open.

In the Wimbledon final, Williams will face Garbiñe Muguruza, 23, who had little trouble dispatching Magdalena Rybarikova 6-1, 6-1, on the strength of a reliable first serve and profitable ventures to the net: Muguruza won 18 of the 24 points in which she approached the net.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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