Germany’s Angelique Kerber gatecrashed the Williams sisters’ Wimbledon party when she overpowered Venus 6-4 6-4 in the semi-finals on Thursday, setting up a mouthwatering final showdown with Serena.
The fourth seed will be aiming to become the first German woman since Steffi Graf 20 years ago to lift the Wimbledon singles crown, and to confound Serena’s efforts to equal Graf’s professional era record of 22 grand slam singles titles for the second time this year.
Left-handed Kerber had the upper hand in the baseline exchanges against eighth-seeded Venus throughout a topsy-turvy first set in which there were seven breaks of serve, moving her American opponent from side to side with fearsome drives off both wings.
An increasingly weary-looking Williams, 36, wilted under the pressure and made a string of errors, surrendering the set by burying a forehand into the net.
The 28-year-old German retained her edge in the second set and weathered a clutch of Williams winners before closing out the match with a blistering cross-court forehand.
She will aim to complete the double against Serena on Saturday, having beaten the world number one in the Australian Open final in January to lift her first grand slam title.