Belfast Telegraph

Wimbledon: Zvonareva living the dream as she prepares for Williams in final

Vera Zvonareva demonstrated her battling qualities to come from a set down to reach her first Wimbledon final and vowed to make defending champion Serena Williams fight all the way tomorrow.

The 25-year-old from Moscow defeated Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova 3-6 6-3 6-2 to become only the third Russian in the Open era to reach the women's final.

The bookmakers do not fancy her chances of emulating Maria Sharapova, Russia's only other Wimbledon champion in 2004, but Zvonareva will relish the chance to defy the odds.

“You know, I'm very excited,” she said. “I think I haven't realised it yet that I will be playing in the final.

“But it's one of my dreams to be out there on the Centre Court and playing in the finals of Wimbledon.

“It's going to be a tough challenge. Serena is a great player, the defending champion and very tough to play against.

“But I always believe in myself. I think I will just have to go out there and try to play my best, like I did in previous matches.

“I know, if I play my best tennis, I can beat anyone on the other side of the net. That's what I'm going to try to do. I never look at any odds or comparisons. It's not important to me.”

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