LONDON, England - Shortly after sealing a berth in the Wimbledon singles final on Thursday, Serena Williams and sister Venus netted an easy victory in the doubles quarters to set up a dream clash involving four likely Hall of Famers.
The Williamses' 61 61 rout of fellow Americans and No.10 seeds Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears was their most lopsided scoreline of the fortnight and showed they are rounding into the form that saw them capture this title four times among their 12 majors. It also improved their remarkable Wimbledon record to 36-2 and their Grand Slam record to 100-8. And another statistic that Serena should relish; each time she and Venus have paired up at the All-England Club in the past, one of them has gone on to capture the singles title.
"Winning the title would be so awesome," Serena Williams said. "We're having so much fun. We played really well today, actually. We're really enjoying ourselves, and we hope that we can win two more matches in doubles."
Awaiting the Williamses in the semifinals are top-seeded Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond, who have 11 majors between them - one of them together. Though they have never played Huber and Raymond as a duo, the sisters are 4-0 against Huber with other partners and 3-1 versus Raymond. Both teams will represent the USA at the London Olympics later this summer.
The bottom half of the draw will see two more Olympic teams square off - No.6 seeds Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka and Flavia Pennetta and Francesca Schiavone. Hlavackova and Hradecka were 63 64 winners over No.2 seeds Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci, putting an end to the Italians' win streak that stretched five tournaments and 25 matches - the longest since Gigi Fernández and Natasha Zvereva won 28 matches in a row in 1994. After falling to Errani and Vinci in their first two meetings - most notably in the semifinals of January's Australian Open - the Czechs have now recorded two straight victories in the series.
As for Pennetta and Schiavone, they came into this event just 16-12 as a duo without ever having gone beyond the third round in their three previous majors. But now they find themselves in the semifinals here after finishing off a darkness-suspended 62 67(0) 64 triumph over ninth-seeded Nuria Llagostera Vives and María José Martínez Sánchez. In their only previous encounter with the Spaniards, they fell in the third round of last month's French Open.