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Serena, Venus face off; both 5-time Wimbledon champs

Associated Press

LONDON – One five-time Wimbledon champion is guaranteed to reach the quarterfinals. Another is assured of elimination.

That’s what will happen today when Serena Williams plays older sister Venus Williams for the sixth time at the grass-court Grand Slam in southwest London.

“They’ve been unbelievable for the sport. I’ve said that many times,” said Roger Federer, a seven-time Wimbledon champion who will also be playing on Manic Monday. “Their head-to-heads, I don’t know how much that has to do with it. I think it’s more their individual play.”

Individually and together, the Williams sisters have become two of the greatest champions at the All England Club. They have each won five singles titles, and have teamed up to win five more in doubles.

Against each other on the grass at Wimbledon, Serena leads 3-2, with all three of her wins coming in finals. Venus won one final, and also won a semifinal match against her younger sibling in 2000 – the first time they met on court at the tournament.

Although Serena is still at the top of her game and going for a true Grand Slam this season, Venus has been struggling for the past few years and was diagnosed with an energy-sapping autoimmune disease in 2011, three years after her last Wimbledon title. It was the previous year, in 2010, when she last reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon.

But this year, Venus has been nearing her past high standards, winning all three of her matches in straight sets.

“She’s playing so well,” Serena said. “I’m practicing next to her every day and I’m in awe of how she’s doing.

“It’s a little frustrating because I know I have to play her.”

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