London - Five-times champion Venus Williams is drawing on
the emotional support of her absent sister Serena at Wimbledon as the
37-year-old American remains on course to seize one of her sibling's records
should she go on to claim an eighth grand slam title.
Williams won a cross-generation battle when she beat
20-year-old French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko 6-3 7-5 on Tuesday to reach
her 10th semi-final in 20 attempts at the All England Club and next faces home
favourite Johanna Konta.
The American stands two victories away a remarkable triumph
and a win in Saturday's final would allow her to replace Serena, who is taking
a break from tennis to give birth to her first child, as the oldest women's
grand slam winner.
"They're definitely here with me, for sure,"
Williams told reporters on Tuesday. "Even if it's not physically. That is
one thing I do know. They're fighting right alongside me."
In a professional career lasting more than two decades,
Williams is closing in on a 50th WTA title and credits her longevity to a love
of the game and a desire to constantly improve.
"I love it," Williams said. "I try really
hard. There's no other explanation. You do your best while you can. That's what
"I love the challenge. I love pressure. It's not always
easy dealing with the pressure. There's constant pressure. It's only yourself
who can have the answer for that.
"I love the last day you play, you're still improving.
It's not something that is stagnant. The competition keeps you growing. You
have to get better if you want to stay relevant."
The veteran last triumphed at Wimbledon in 2008, which
remains her seventh and final grand slam singles title.