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.
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.
Serena fell to the ground after she won, with hands in the air and eyes wide with disbelief, before she congratulated her sister for inspiring her run in Melbourne.
“She’s an amazing person, there’s no way I would be at 23 without her, there’s no way I would have anything without her. She’s the only reason the Williams sisters exist, so thank you for inspiring me to be the best that I can be.” Serena said while holding the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup at the trophy ceremony.
The win moved her past Steffi Graf on the list of all-time slam winners and she now sits just one shy of Margaret Court‘s long-standing record of 24.
“Serena Williams, that’s my little sister, guys, Congratulations Serena on number 23, I’ve been right there with you, some of them I’ve lost with you. Your win has always been my win, you know that. I’m enormously proud of you, you mean the world to me.” Venus said.
Eight years have passed since their last grand slam decider at Wimbledon in 2009, and their combined ages in Melbourne added up to the oldest major final ever contested.