London, July 2 (DPA) Dinara Safina is all that stands in the way of a fourth Williams sisters Wimbledon final after second seed Serena Williams held off Russian Elena Dementieva 6-7 (4-7), 7-5, 8-6 in their semi-final Thursday.
Top-seeded world number one Safina will hope to step up when she next takes on five-time champion Venus Williams.
Against Serena, two-time 2004 Grand Slam finalist Dementieva failed on a match point in the tenth game of the third set as Williams returned a loose volley which hit the top of the net but landed good.
The American then broke for 7-6 as the air went out of her Russian opponent, with two-time winner Williams reaching her second title match in three years on her own first winning chance.
“It was really, really tough,” said Williams, holder of 10 titles at the majors. “When I faced that match point (on her own serve) I was thinking ace.
“I stayed calm and positive. I wasn’t on my best game, but we gave the crowd a wonderful match.”
The contest ran for just over two and a quarter-hours, with Williams hitting 20 aces and 43 winners as she broke her Russian opponent five times.
Dementieva converted on three of ten opportunities.
Safina has lost in three Grand Slam finals, beginning with the French Open a year ago. She was also beaten by Serena Williams at the Australian Open and went out to Svetlana Kuznetsova at Roland Garros a month ago.