Serena Williams defeated her sister Venus Williams to clinch her seventh Australian Open title. She now holds 23 Grand Slam titles – an Open era record. She swept aside sister Venus for a 6-4, 6-4 victory, itself another record in a career creaking under the weight of its own history.
Thanks to the win, Serena also edged past Steffi Graf’s record of 22 Grand Slam to regain the World No.1 ranking.The reality is that Serena, at the age of 35 has won her latest major without dropping a single set and despite playing nowhere close to her best, while Graf, let it be noted, retired at 30. Just listen to the verdict of her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou. “She played well enough to win, but she can play much better,” said the Frenchman, doing little to enthuse about a match where, yet again, sport’s most celebrated sister act seldom caught light.
Today, only Australia’s Margaret Court,now 74, who was present in audience,stands ahead of her in the compendium of all-time greatness, with 24 titles to her 23, but it is largely an incidental detail. Court belonged to an amateur era when the main draw comprised 16 players, not 128.
Serena has brushed her way past Angelique Kerber who was holding world ranking 1 uptil now.
Here’s how the WTA rankings will look like on Monday:
1. Serena Williams
2. Angelique Kerber
3. Karolina Pliskova
4. Simona Halep
5. Dominika Cibulkova
6. Agnieszka Radwanska
7. Garbine Muguruza
8. Svetlana Kuznetsova
9. Madison Keys
10. Johanna Konta
(11. Venus Williams!)
Both the siblings went ahead to embrace each other and won the hearts by bestowing words of gratitude.
Serena Williams:” Thank you so much. I would like to take this moment to congratulate Venus – she’s an amazing person. Thank you Venus for inspiring me. Without you there won’t be 22 or even 1 Grand SLam. She deserves an incredible round of applause for an amazing comeback. Definitely she’d be back again next year.”
Venus now addressed the crowd: “Serena Williams, that’s my little sister, guys.”
“I’ve been right there with you, some of them I lost right there against you,” Venus says. “I’m enormously proud of you, you mean the world to me.”