So all the pre-tournament predictions were correct, the might of the entire Sony Ericsson WTA Tour has not been enough to prevent a fourth all-Williams final.
Perhaps we shouldn’t have bothered at all. In the old days the champion used to earn direct qualification into the showpiece event, with only the challengers compelled to play-off.
Over the last fortnight we could even have done without that nicety, stuck Serena in against Venus, saved ourselves a lot of bother – and Dinara Safina one of the most embarrassing defeats to which a world No?1 of any ilk has ever been subjected.
The Russian, nominally the best player in women’s tennis, if you believe the rankings, wasn’t only thrashed – 6-1, 6-0 for the anoraks out there – she was humiliated by five-time champion Venus.
In just 51 minutes Williams, the Elder, made a total mockery of her opponent, her seeding and the points system by which the whole pecking order is determined.
Safina was allowed just eight points in the second set and had her service broken five times in all. It was carnage.
Venus has now won 34 consecutive sets at this tournament so while she may not have actually been given a bye into the final, in many ways it has felt like it.
Who can forget the halcyon days when – last Wednesday – Kateryna Bondarenko extended the 29-year-old into a tie-break.
She was far from extended yesterday, indeed if there is an easier passage through any Grand Slam semi-final it has yet to be discovered.
Williams tried to be courteous about the fact she is not top seed and insisted she respects Safina, though the ease with which she dismissed her opponent did not escape her notice.
“Playing against the No 1 player in the world, it is exciting to play so well,” she said without a hint of a smirk.
“I like the score. It just showed my level of play. I was dictating on every point. I am not the No 1 seed and I shouldn’t be expected to win this match.”
One can only hope her sister puts up a better fight than yesterday’s patsy and to be fair if there’s one thing Serena has, it’s fight. The 27-year-old needed every ounce on a scorching Centre Court as Olympic champion Elena Dementieva put in the best performance of her life.
The Russian held a match point and ten break points during a titanic struggle that lasted 2hr 49mins only to lose 7-6, 5-7, 6-8. It was perhaps the tension and high standard of this semi final that underlined the paucity of the one that followed.
This encounter was supposed to be about Dementieva’s feeble serve but in the end it was Serena’s that brought her through and not anything she did to her opponent’s. Dementieva has a reputation as one of the most feeble servers in the women’s game. Not yesterday.
A decent percentage on her first ball and heavy slice on her second kept her afloat and ensured all the attention wasn’t focused whether she could hold or not.
Yet as much pressure as she put on Williams’ delivery, the American invariably found the valve of an ace or an unreturnable.
Williams, the Younger, boomed down 20 aces in all and that proved the difference. “Awesome, that’s way cool,” she said without too much by way of illumination.
But it could easily have gone the other way. Dementieva lamented the fact she went cross court on match point and allowed her opponent to take the point with a simple volley.
Had the Muscovite gone down the line, women’s tennis could have taken a different course. But she didn’t, it hasn’t and for the second year running the Ladies Singles final will be a sister act.