Serena Wins Australian Open for 23rd Grand Slam Crown
Serena Williams pushed sentiments aside in an emotion-charged 6–4 6–4 defeat of sister Venus to win the Australian Open on Saturday and a record 23rd grand slam title in the professional era.
Tortured by nerves in a tense family affair, Serena had to produce some of her best tennis to overcome Venus, who won the crowd at Rod Laver Arena by scrapping hard to the end. The American’s seventh title at Melbourne Park was won with an aggressive charge to the net and a desperate defensive backhand from Venus that floated into the tramlines. Williams slumped to the ground, with hands in the air and eyes wide with joyous disbelief, before congratulating her sister for inspiring her run in Melbourne.
Serena Williams started the match nervously, dropping serve twice to start the first set. After making three double-faults in the fourth game to get broken, however, the younger Williams didn’t face another break point in the match.
The match-up between 36-year-old Venus and 35-year-old Serena was between the oldest competitors for a women’s major final in the Open era, with a combined 71 years, 11 months.
Serena Williams now has a 17–11 career record against her sister, including a 10-5 advantage at Grand Slams. She had been tied with Steffi Graf at 22 major titles. She still remains one title behind the all-time leader, Margaret Court, who has 24 overall Grand Slam titles in the Open and amateur eras.
It was also the seventh Australian Open title for Serena Williams to go along with her seven titles at Wimbledon, six at the U.S. Open and three at the French Open.
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