Serena Williams may have ended her big sister Venus’ best chance for an eighth major title to keep her calendar grand slam bid on track.
The younger Williams prevailed 6-4 6-3 in the siblings’ first Wimbledon meeting in six years, to reach her 11th quarter-final at SW19.
The two five-time Wimbledon champions held nothing back on Centre Court, but Serena out-slugged her 35-year-old sister to sustain the dream of that elusive calendar slam.
Whatever big weapons Venus threw at her sister, Serena swatted aside, claiming the second set 6-3, and with it the match.
Former Wimbledon champion Lindsay Davenport branded this the match everyone wants to see but cannot bear to watch in previewing the family battle of her fellow Americans.
Both sisters were able to suspend their inseparable bond long enough to throw everything at their respective bids for history however, creating an engaging and brutal contest.
Venus underlined her steely ambition for an eighth grand slam title by fending off two break points to open the second set by holding serve.
The elder Williams defended another break point in her next service game, despite some stunning ground strokes from Serena.
Venus impressively held off two further break points to clamber to deuce in her very next service game, only to sling down a double fault to concede.
After battling so hard to stay in touch where many would have folded against her rampant sister, this was perhaps the cruellest way to surrender the edge for both second set and match.
Serena then powered home to claim the set and keep her calendar slam train steaming ahead.
Where Serena admitted British number one Heather Watson “should have won” their third-round battle, there can be few doubts here that Wimbledon’s top seed will view herself the worthy winner over her sister.
Any pangs of guilt on denying Venus one more major title tilt will surely be set aside as she aims to strike off one of the few omissions of her gargantuan career by landing all four grand slam titles this term.
Serena hailed Venus as the “pioneer” without whom she could never have dominated the history of the women’s game, while praising her grit to withstand auto-immune condition Sjogren’s syndrome and sustain her pro career.
But when the twin ambitions collided, Serena set sentiment aside to complete a hugely-impressive victory.