WIMBLEDON, England — Defending champion Venus Williams easily reached her eighth Wimbledon final by routing top-ranked Dinara Safina 6-1, 6-0 Thursday.
Venus will play little sister Serena on Saturday in a rematch of last year's final. Serena defeated Venus in the 2002 and '03 finals.
Five-time champion Venus won the opening nine points of the semifinal match and saved the only break point she faced in the third game of the first set.
Serena saved a match point and overcame Elena Dementieva 6-7 (4), 7-5, 8-6 in a riveting contest earlier Thursday.
Serena, the two-time Wimbledon champion, saved a match point with a backhand volley while trailing 5-4 in the third set of Thursday's semifinal.
Serena dominated on her serve in the first set after being broken in the first game of the match, but she couldn't hang on in the tiebreaker. In the second, Williams went up a break early but allowed Dementieva back into the match before breaking again.
Dementieva has never won a Grand Slam title. She lost in the final of the French Open and the U.S. Open in 2004.
In the semifinals on Tuesday, the Williams sisters also overwhelmed their opponents with breathtaking displays of power tennis, showing why they have dominated on the grass of the All England Club for most of the past decade.
“We definitely upped our levels of game today,” Serena said.
Venus, seeking her third straight Wimbledon title, outhit the 14th-ranked Pole from all parts of the court and proved again that she is the dominant female player on grass.
“Do I feel invincible?” Williams said. “I'd like to say yes, but I really do work at it.”
Venus Williams had her left leg taped up again but showed no weakness at all as she ripped 29 winners – compared to six for Radwanska – in a match that lasted just 68 minutes on a sunbaked Court 1.
Only once in the last nine years has there been a Wimbledon women's final that didn't feature at least one of the Williams sisters. The sisters were the only two Grand Slam winners in the women's quarterfinals – Serena has 10 major titles and Venus seven.
The sisters have met in three Wimbledon finals, including last year. Serena has won two of the three, in 2002 and '03. They are 10-10 in career meetings.
Meanwhile, the Williams sisters keep collecting Grand Slam trophies. Saturday’s final will be a rematch of last year’s high-quality affair won by Venus in two intense sets.
If Venus wins again, she will have her third straight singles title here and her sixth over all. If Serena wins, she will have her first singles victory here since 2003 and her third over all.
“The more we play, the better it gets,” Serena told The New York Times. “When we play our match on Saturday, you know, it’s for everything. This is what we dreamed of when we were growing up in Compton 20-something years ago. So, you know, this is what we worked for, and this is what we want. Like I wanted her to win today, and she wanted me to win today. It’s all come down to this.”
On Friday, the sisters are scheduled to play semifinal doubles against the No. 1 seeds Cara Black of Zimbabwe and Liezel Huber of the United States.
The sisters' father, Richard Williams, said earlier this week that he was certain his daughters will be in the final again.
“I think they are both playing super well,” he said. “They're playing the Williams way. And when you're playing the Williams way, it's very difficult for anyone to touch you.”
Venus is trying to become the first woman since Steffi Graf in 1991-93 to win three Wimbledon titles in a row.
Photo: Venus Williams, left, Serena Williams, right.