Venus gets defensive
Williams in final again after handling Davenport
Updated: Thursday July 05, 2001 3:54 PM
WIMBLEDON, England (AP) -- One singles title at Wimbledon isn't enough for Venus Williams.
"I've got to keep getting more," said the defending champion, who defeated former winner Lindsay Davenport 6-2, 6-7 (1), 6-1 on Centre Court Thursday to reach the Saturday final against little-known Belgian 19-year-old Justine Henin.
"I have a little trophy case at home I've got to fill up. ... I don't like going home without carrying a plate or a trophy or something. I love winning here. Once you win here, it's pretty addictive."
At Wimbledon, the winning silverware carries Venus' name. The plate that goes to the women's champion is the "Venus Rosewater Dish," given to the winner since 1886.
Williams is the favorite of British bookies at 2-5 to get a second dish.
But she shouldn't discount Henin, who came from behind to upset fourth-seeded Jennifer Capriati 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 in the other semifinal. A former French Open junior champion, she reached the French Open semifinals four weeks ago.
Attempting to win her third straight Grand Slam, Capriati admitted a strong start against slight the teen-ager may have deceived her. "Maybe I thought it was going to be too easy."
Second-seeded Williams will have no such thoughts against the 5-foot-6 Belgian with the rare one-hand backhand. Henin, eighth-seeded, defeated her earlier this year on clay in Berlin 6-1, 6-4 -- their only meeting -- and Davenport called her "a phenomenal talent."
"My mom told me never to underestimate anyone," Williams said. "So I take that good advice. You have to be playing pretty good tennis to get to the finals of a Wimbledon. That says a lot.
"The last time we played I was just really moving kind of slow. I don't think I was playing as well as maybe I could have."
In a rematch of last's year two-set final, Williams overpowered third-seeded Davenport in the first set, hitting her serves consistently at 120 mph en route to nine aces in the match.
Up 4-1 after an early break in the second set, Williams' first serve suddenly crumbled and her forehand wobbled. Davenport managed to break back in the seventh game, avoided a match point in the 10th, and took the tiebreaker 7-1 as Williams double faulted twice and continued to net forehands.
"She started playing very well in the second set and hit some penetrating balls, and I think my feet stopped moving," Williams said.
"When you're down 2-6 and 1-4 there are some things you've got to do, and I think she really just started going all out for it."
Davenport's turnaround ended abruptly in the third set as Williams broke her three service games. "When it come time to the larger matches, I'm just able to raise may game," Williams said.
"I just kind of shot myself in the foot by making a few errors and let it all die right at the beginning of the third," was Davenport's explanation.
Another Wimbledon would be Williams' third Grand Slam -- she's the defending U.S. Open champion -- and she'd be the first woman since Steffi Graf in 1995 and '96 to win back-to-back on the slick lawns at the All England Club.
"Really for me, it's not about making history. It's just about trying to win Wimbledon," said Williams, who said she'd received a pep-talk phone call from her sister, Serena, who went home to the United States after Capriati beat her in the quarterfinals.
"She said 'Bring the title home.' She was very serious about it, so I feel pressured now to bring it home."