Charleston: 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. The top-ranked Serena won her 14th straight match, and will play for her second straight title in this tournament on Sunday against Jelena Jankovic. Jankovic, the 2007 champion, defeated Stefanie Voegele of Switzerland 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-2 in the other semi-final.
This was the first time since 2009 the Williams sisters were playing each other in a tournament. Serena has won five straight in their series and leads 14-10. Serena was encouraged to see her older sister reach the semifinals after her struggles in the past 18 months in dealing with an autoimmune disease.
"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 surged to a 4-0 lead and won the first set in 22 minutes. Venus, 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.
The match ended when Venus misplayed Serena's final serve. The sisters shook hands at the net, neither looking overly pleased. This victory by Serena surpassed her 6-2, 6-2 win over Venus at Miami in 2002.
The matchup drew a single-session record crowd of 9,538, exceeding the previous high who watched Serena Williams defeat Maria Sharapova in the 2008 quarterfinals.
The Williams sisters came off a long, grueling Friday when both had to win twice to get this far. Serena suggested 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 per cent," 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 was happy with her week, if not how she played against Serena. "You know, I've been off balance for a long time," she said. "And I'm trying to regain my balance."