Serena Williams aims to continue her stranglehold over Maria Sharapova but insists their rivalry is not a ‘grudge match’.
Williams and Russian fourth seed Sharapova face each other in the semi-finals on Centre Court.
World No.1 Williams,33, has won their last 16 encounters dating back 11 years.
But the pair have a stormy past which erupted in 2013 when Sharapova started dating Williams’ ex Grigor Dimitrov.
Williams hit back saying Dimitrov had a “black heart” and Sharapova then claimed her rival was dating her married tennis coach Patrick Mouratoglu.
Serena Williams holds the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup and Maria Sharapova
Finalists: Williams was victorious over Sharapova in the Australian Open final ( Image: Getty)
Ahead of Thursday’s clash, Williams, who last beat Sharapova in the Australian Open final, was asked the potential ‘grudge match’.
But she insisted: “I love playing Maria.
“I think she brings out the best in me. I think I bring out the best in her.
“I thought we had a wonderful final in Australia.
“It was very entertaining. She played really well.”
In pictures – Serena Williams vs Venus Williams:
Serena Williams v Venus Williams
Serena Williams embraces Venus Williams after winning their match
Williams is hot favourite here as the 20-time Grand Slam champion has now won 26 matches in a row.
She is two wins from holding all four major singles titles and closer to being the first woman since Steffi Graf in 1988 to complete a calendar Grand Slam.
Williams claimed: “I don’t have anything to prove. I won all the Grand Slams, multiple times. Now it’s just I’m here just to enjoy it. I think it’s actually making me play better, which is crazy.”
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