Serena Beats Venus For Record 23rd Grand Slam Title
Niall Clarke, Tennis Atlantic
Serena Williams made history by claiming an open era 23rd Grand slam title by defeating sister Venus Williams to win the 2017 Australian Open.
The second seed won 6-4, 6-4 to surpass Steffi Graf’s previous open era record of 22 major titles and return to number one in the world rankings. Margaret Court still holds the professional tennis record with 24 grand slam wins.
It was a crazy Australian Open draw which saw many of the top seeds fall early. But one kept going through the draw without dropping a set, and that was Serena. The world number two looked more like her dominant self on the way to final and entered the match was a big favourite against sister Venus.
Despite the odds, the 35 year old’s tension was apparent. Serena smashed a racket early and received a code violation as a result of her frustration. She had broken serve twice in the early proceedings but handed the advantage straight back each time. However the set was decided with another break for Serena to move 4-3 ahead, and she went out to close the set 6-4.
The second set was much more serve dominated than the first, but it was Venus who was under constant pressure. The world number 17 had to recover from 0-40 in the third game of the set, but she could not hold out for much longer as Serena finally secured the break of serve. The Rod Laver crowd were firmly behind Venus, who has not won a major title in eight years, and she threatened an unlikely comeback in the last game. The world number two recovered from 15-30 though to secure a record breaking 23rd grand slam title, and who will stop her getting more?
For Venus, this was an excellent two weeks in which she may have just seen her last chance of winning a major title slip away. But I am sure Venus will be happy for her sister despite the loss. She continues to defy the odds and continues to play at the top of the game at 36 years old.
“Congratulations Serena on number 23,” said Venus to Channel 7.
“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.”
Serena paid tribute to her sister, citing her as the her inspiration in her winners speech.
“There’s no way I would be at 23 without her. There’s no way I’d be at one without her. She’s my inspiration.
“She’s the only reason I’m standing here today. She’s the only reason the Williams sisters exist. Thank you for inspiring me. Every time you won this week, I felt like I got a win too.”