Serena Williams extended tennis’ most one-sided rivalry with her 17th consecutive victory over Maria Sharapova to reach her eighth Wimbledon final.
Australian and French Open champion Williams moved ever closer to the calendar grand slam by storming past Sharapova 6-2 6-4 – some 11 years after losing to her biggest foe in tennis in the final at SW19.
Coach Patrick Mouratoglou insisted in advance that Williams’ dominance means there “is not really a rivalry” – and the world number one vindicated that claim to book a showdown with Spain’s Garbine Muguruza.
Every time Sharapova fought to raise her level Williams stepped up another notch.
The Russian fourth seed improved in the second set but was still no match for the 33-year-old.
The American mustered just the single service break in the second set: it was more than enough.
Williams fired two aces and an unreturned serve to complete her victory, leaving Sharapova simply trailing in her wake.
Once the 20-time grand slam champion stops basking in the glow of blitzing the object of her long-term feud, she will set about claiming a sixth Wimbledon crown this Saturday.