Serena Williams on Saturday wrote her name in history by winning her 23rd Grand Slam title after beating sister Venus in the Australian Open final.
The dominant American beat her sibling in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4 to clinch her seventh Australian Open crown on Rod Laver Arena.
She surpassed the legendary Steffi Graf with the most singles majors in the Open era but still has one more to go to equal Australia’s Margaret Court (24) on the all-time list.
The 35-year-old’s victory also regained her her number one ranking from German Angelique Kerber.
Among other achievements, Serena broke her own record of being the oldest woman to win a major in the open era almost 18 years after winning her first at the 1999 US Open.
Speaking during her acceptance of the winner’s trophy, Serena Williams praised her sister who she said was the only reason she played tennis.
”I would really like to take this moment to congratulate Venus, she is an amazing person.”
”There is no way I would be at 23 without her. There is no way I would be at one without her. She is my inspiration, she is the only reason I am standing here today and the only reason that the Williams sisters exist.”
”Thank you for inspiring me. Every time you won this week, I felt like I got a win too.”
Serena was the strong favorite going into the match but found it hard as early as the third game when she smashed a racquet in frustration, receiving a code violation.
She struggled to settle, with 13 unforced errors in the opening five games as Venus kept her under pressure with some deep hitting.
The crowd looked to be backing the older Williams sister from the beginning as she tried to win her first major title in eight years.
Venus later on in the game began to struggle physically as Serena recovered to win the game.
Venus, the oldest Australian Open finalist in the Open era, said this after the game:
”Congratulations Serena on number 23,”
“I have been right there with you, some of them I lost right there against you. It’s been an awesome win.”
“I’m enormously proud of you, you mean the world to me. I, God willing, would love to come back. Thank you for all the love.”
What love between sister rivals.