LONDON • Serena Williams won the latest instalment of her rivalry with sister Venus, as the world No. 1 eased into the Wimbledon quarter-finals with a 6-4, 6-3 victory yesterday.
Serena took just 67 minutes to see off Venus on Centre Court, hitting 36 winners and 10 aces to secure her 14th win in 26 meetings with her older sister.
However, it was clear neither sibling enjoyed the experience.
"It's hard to feel excited about (beating) someone you root for all the time no matter what and you love so much and is your best friend in the world," said Serena.
"It's never easy to play someone you love and care about.
"But I don't know how many more moments like this we'll have.
"I plan on playing for years but you never know if we'll have the opportunity to face each other."
WIMBLEDON, 4th rd (selected)
Men: Richard Gasquet (Fra) bt Nick Kyrgios (Aus) 7-5 6-1 6-7 (7 -9) 7-6 (8 -6), Vasek Pospisil (Can) bt Viktor Troicki (Srb) 4-6 6-7 (4 -7) 6-4 6-3 6-3.
Women: Garbine Muguruza Blanco (Esp) bt Caroline Wozniacki (Den) 6-4 6-4, Victoria Azarenka (Blr) bt Belinda Bencic (Sui) 6-2 6-3, Timea Bacsinszky (Sui) bt Monica Niculescu (Rom) 1-6 7-5 6-2, Agnieszka Radwanska (Pol) bt Jelena Jankovic (Srb) 7-5 6-4, Maria Sharapova (Rus) bt Zarina Diyas (Kaz) 6-4 6-4, Serena Williams (USA) bt Venus Williams (USA) 6-4 6-3, Coco Vandeweghe (USA) bt Lucie Safarova (Cze) 7-6(7 -1) 7-6 (7-4), Madison Keys (USA) bt Olga Govortsova (Blr) 3-6 6-4 6-1.
With the awkward family reunion out of the way, Serena can now refocus on her attempt to rewrite the history books.
The American, whose record for the year now stands at a remarkable 36-1, remains on course to become the first woman to win the French Open and Wimbledon back-to-back since she last achieved that feat in 2002.
She is on a 25-match winning run at the majors, a blistering sequence that brought her the 2014 US Open crown and the Australian and French Open titles this year.
Serena will hold all four Grand Slam titles at the same time if she manages to win a sixth Wimbledon crown on Saturday.
That would also leave the 20-time Grand Slam champion needing only to win the US Open in August to become the first woman since Steffi Graf in 1988 to land all four majors in the same year.
Former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka downed Swiss teenager Belinda Bencic 6-2, 6-3 to set up a last-eight meeting with Serena.
Maria Sharapova endured her toughest match of the tournament so far at Wimbledon, but still made it through to the quarter-finals with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Kazakhstan's Zarina Diyas.
The Russian had a nervy start against world No. 34 Diyas and was 1-3 down in the second set but the 28-year-old's experience told and she looked delighted at the end.
"The further you go, the tougher it gets. My opponent is a really good grass-court player, stayed really low and hit so hard so I really had to be ready for all her shots," a relieved Sharapova said.
"Coming into this tournament, I didn't have a warm-up event and I wanted to start off strong and give a good chance for myself."
Earlier yesterday, both Madison Keys and Coco Vandeweghe made it through to the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the first time.
Vandeweghe, the world No. 47, stunned the Czech sixth seed Lucie Safarova 7-6 (7-1), 7-6 (7-4).
Safarova reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon last year and made it to her first Grand Slam singles final last month at the French Open, where she lost to Serena.
Keys, an Australian Open semi-finalist earlier this year, was the first to make it into the last eight with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 win over Belarusian qualifier Olga Govortsova.
In the men's singles, Richard Gasquet avenged last year's painful Wimbledon loss against Nick Kyrgios, as the French 21st seed moved into the quarter-finals with a 7-5, 6-1, 6-7 (7-9), 7-6 (8-6) victory over the controversial Australian.
Gasquet had wasted nine match points while squandering a two-set lead in a second-round defeat by Kyrgios a year ago.
But the 29-year-old made amends on Court Two with a powerful display against the 26th seed, who helped the Frenchman by appearing to deliberately lose several points in the second set.
Day 8, Women's singles q-finals:
Singtel TV Ch114 & Ch115 and StarHub Ch208 & Ch209, 6.30pm