“I’m hoping to still peak in the final,” the world No.
1 said after storming to the title match without dropping a single set.
Shooting for her 13th grand slam title, and fourth Wimbledon crown, 28-year-old Williams has been as devastating as ever these championships.
Her serve has been almost impenetrable, her tournament-record 80 aces an astonishing 50 more than second-placed sister Venus’s 30.
Zvonareva is studying international economic relations back home in Russia, but didn’t need a university agree to work out where the final would be won and lost.
“Her serve’s a very big advantage, I would say, especially here on the grass,” Zvonareva said.
“It’s very difficult when she’s serving well, but there are moments where she may not serve as well.
“I haven’t seen anyone make a hundred per cent of first serves. So if you can find the timing, you can return it.
“Then you will just have to take your chances. I will have to stay aggressive no matter what and not to let her dominate because when Serena dominates, she’s very difficult to play.”
Few give Zvonareva much hope of upsetting the all-time great, especially bookmakers who have listed Williams a raging 9-1 on
ut Williams is wary, impressed to see the one-time world No.5 and tour-ending champion battle back from years of injury woes to finally reach her maiden grand slam final.
Tough path to match for Zvonareva
And Zvonareva’s path to the championship match was anything but easy, the 25-year-old overcoming former world No.1s Jelena Jankovic and Kim Clijsters back-to-back before accounting for little-known Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova 3-6 6-3 6-2 in Thursday’s semi-finals.
“I don’t think she does anything terrible. That’s the best way to describe her game. She does everything good,” Williams said.
“It’s tough playing a player like that who doesn’t really have one real weakness and everything pretty much is a strength, from her forehand to her backhand to her movement.
“And her last two matches she’s been down a set, so she’s obviously a fighter. She never gives up.”
Zvonareva’s lone victory in six clashes with Williams came in Cincinnati in 2006 when the American was struggling physically and for motivation and ranked a lowly 50th in the world.
“On paper, it looks like I should win,” the top seed said.
“The biggest thing is for me to stay positive and not put too much pressure on myself.”
Still, Zvonareva believes she’s a far superior player to the temperamental figure of her younger days.
“I’m more experienced right now,” she said.
“I always believe in myself. I always know that I can do anything.
“For me, I think it came with an experience and I know better how to handle different situations.
“I don’t care what people say. I can break the racquet, but it doesn’t mean I’m not there in the match. I’m trying all the time.
“I think I know how to turn the matches around much better now.”
Zvonareva joins Svetlana Kuznetsova, Anastasia Myskina, Elena Dementieva and Maria Sharapova as the sixth different Russian woman to contest a grand slam final since 2004.
For Williams, this will be only the second time in her six finals at the All England Club that she hasn’t opposed her sister.
And Sharapova in 2004 is the only player other than Venus to have conquered the world No.1 in a Wimbledon decider.