Venus Williams reaches 6th Wimbledon final, where she'll face Bartoli
By Howard Fendrich
Ignore the rankings. Ignore recent form. Remember this: You never can count a Williams out.
That's the lesson Venus Williams is providing at Wimbledon, precisely the way her younger sister Serena did at the Australian Open six months ago.
Out of the top 30, never so much as a semifinalist at any Grand Slam over the past two years, Venus Williams moved a victory away from her fourth title at the All England Club by outclassing No. 6 Ana Ivanovic of Serbia 6-2, 6-4 in Friday's semifinals.
"Something about us -- no matter what we're ranked, no matter where we are, no matter what the next person says -- ultimately we just believe in ourselves," the elder Williams said, "and I think that's what makes the difference."
In her sixth Wimbledon final, the 27-year-old American will find a surprising opponent on the other side of the net Saturday: Marion Bartoli of France, who came back from a set and a break down to stun No. 1 Justine Henin 1-6, 7-5, 6-1.
Before this year, the lowest-ranked female finalist at the grass-court Grand Slam was Williams, who was at No. 16 when she won the 2005 championship.
This time, it's No. 31 Williams vs. No. 19 Bartoli.