On Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017, Serena Williams beat out her sister to win the Australian Open. This brings her to a total of 23 Grand Slams.
Venus Williams at 36-years-old took the 6-4, 6-4 loss to her 35-year-old sister like a real champion, saying having the opportunity to play in the final match is the thrill that really matters. She was right where she wanted to be and was jubilant for her sister.
The first time the Williams sisters played at the French Open was in 1998, which marked their first match, and older sister won. She was only 17 years of age. The older sister has not played in a major finals game in seven and a half years, so it has been particularly sweet for her. She is very excited for her younger sibling and is happy to share her joy. After the match was over, she walked right over and gave her a big congratulatory hug.
Winning this Open makes it her 7th title at Melbourne Park for the younger Williams tennis pro, and gives her the record for the most major titles previously held by Steffi Graf. Champion Margaret Court currently holds the record and was in attendance to witness Williams historic event. Court had won her first 13 major titles before the Open era began in 1968 and 11 more afterward giving her a total of 24 major titles. Young Williams only has one more major title to catch Court, and she is still physically capable of such an achievement.
This is a win, win situation for the younger Williams because it brings her back up to the top ranking, which Angelique Kerber grabbed it away from her when she won the U.S. Open in Sept 2016. In her winning speech, she thanked her older sister for being so wonderful. The 23rd championship winner said her sister was the only reason why she won today. According to her, it is because of her older sister that the two of them are top athletes in professional tennis. Then she told everyone in attendance her older sister deserves a big hand, for making an incredible comeback. She then corrected herself saying she was never really away, so it was not a comeback.
The older Williams sister made a speech congratulating the French Open champion of 2017. Shouting to the crowd that the girl who successfully demonstrated her athletic prowess is her little sister. She continued by saying that she won a few and lost a few against the champ, but her triumph was always like they were winning it together. She was truly very proud and happy for sister’s victory.
The game was not the usual stunning match one would expect from the 35-year-old champion, but she fought for the win, and it was deserved. At one point in the match, she served three double faults giving up the break. In the third game, she hit a spike with a bang, which gave her a code violation. However, in the end, she was able to take the match and win another grand slam.
Williams came to the Austrailian Open to win and that is what she did. With 23 grand slams, she has one more to go to tie the all-time record set by Court. She fights hard for all her achievements, and she still has the physical and mental stamina not only to match but set a new all-time record.
By Katherine Miller
Edited by Cathy Milne
LA Times: Serena Williams beats sister Venus in Austrailian Open final for record 23rd Grand Slam title
USA Today: Venus Williams encouraged after loss to Serena in Austrailian Open final
Dailymail.com: Austrailian Open 2017 Women’s final RESULT: Relive the action as Serena Williams clinches 23rd Grand Slam title against sister Venus in Melbourne
Image Courtesy of Yan Caradec’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License