Two-time champion Serena saved a match point and overcame Elena Dementieva 6-7 (4), 7-5, 8-6 in 2 hours, 49 minutes -- the longest women's semifinal at Wimbledon in at least 40 years. " One Williams or the other (Venus or Serena) has won seven of the past nine championships at the All England Club. Serena beat Venus in the 2002 and '03 finals, and Venus came out on top against her younger sister last year. There have been seven previous all-Williams championship matches at majors, with Serena holding a 5-2 lead. Overall, the sisters are 10-10.
"The more we play, the better it gets," Serena said. "When we play our match on Saturday, you know, it's for everything. This is what we dreamed of when we were growing up in Compton (Calif.) 20-something years ago. This is what we worked for, and this is what we want. Like I wanted her to win today and she wanted me to win today. It's all come down to this."
The Serena-Dementieva match was the longest women's Wimbledon semifinal by time since 1969; records are incomplete before then. Serena was pushed to the limit by the fourth-seeded Dementieva but raised her game when needed. "It's definitely one of my more dramatic victories, for sure," Serena said. "Elena played so well, and we gave the crowd a wonderful match," Serena said. "It was really, really tough." In the 10th game of the final set, Serena faced match point on her serve with Dementieva ahead 5-4. Serena chose to attack, coming forward and hitting a backhand volley that skipped off the net cord and into the open court for a winner. It was Serena's eighth straight win in a Grand Slam semifinal going back to the 2003 French Open. She is 14-2 overall in Grand Slam semifinals.
It was almost too much to handle for father Richard, who watched with other family members and friends in the guest box. "Serena nearly gave me a heart attack," he said. Serena served 20 aces -- the most for a woman at Wimbledon since 2000 -- and had 45 winners and 28 unforced errors. Dementieva produced 27 winners, 26 errors and eight double-faults. "That was the best match we ever played against each other," Dementieva said. "It was a real fight from the beginning until the end. I feel like I finally played some good tennis here. It was not easy to fight against her. She's a great champion. She was serving very well today. I wasn't sure if it's Serena or Andy Roddick on the other side."