Victory for Williams will make her oldest champ since 1908
Venus Williams will attempt to become the oldest winner of the women’s singles title at Wimbledon for more than a century when she takes on Garbine Muguruza today.
And unlike Charlotte Sterry, who lifted the trophy in 1908 aged 37 years and 282 days, Williams will almost certainly not travel to the All England Club by bicycle.
At 37 years and 28 days, Williams is looking for her first grand slam title since Wimbledon nine years ago, when she claimed her fifth crown here and seventh in total.
A gradual decline followed, and when she was diagnosed with the auto-immune condition Sjogren’s syndrome in 2011, it seemed Williams’s grand slam-winning days were over.
Instead, she kept working to find the right balance and has forced her way back into the major reckoning.
After reaching the semi-finals here last year, Williams lost to sister Serena in the final of the Australian Open and is now looking to take the final step.
Williams said: “I had a lot of issues. This year has been amazing in terms of my play, playing deep into the big events. Of course, I’m excited about being again in another final, trying to take it a step further.
“I feel very focused. There’s
still a lot to be done. I have one more match that I’d like to be the winner of. I have to go out there and take it and play well.
“But I like to take courage in the fact that I’ve been playing well this tournament and this year, and all these moments have led to this.
“I think it’s wonderful to have the opportunity to play well and to be strong and have experience. I think experience can either work against you or for you. I like to think it’s working for me.”
Williams made her Wimbledon debut 20 years ago and has only missed one tournament, in 2013 when she had a back injury.
In the absence of sister Serena, who is due to give birth to her first child in a few weeks, Venus has dropped just one set on her way to the final.
That came in the second round against China’s Wang Qiang, with Williams dealing with the emotional fall-out from her involvement in a fatal car crash back home in Florida last month.
She has been hugely impressive in her last two matches in particularly, beating French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko and then Britain’s Johanna Konta.
Muguruza is through to the final for the second time in three years and is looking to go one better after losing to Serena in 2015.