Serena Williams has won her record 23rd Grand Slam singles title, and her sister was right there on court to give her a congratulatory hug.
The all-Williams final – the first at the Australian Open since Serena won the first edition of the family rivalry here in 2003 – went to the younger sibling 6-4, 6-4 on Saturday night.
With her record seventh Australian title, the 35-year-old Williams moved ahead of Steffi Graf for the most major titles in the Open era.
The victory also ensured Serena Williams will regain the top ranking, which she lost in September after 186 straight weeks when Angelique Kerber won the U.S. Open.
It was Serena’s seventh win in nine all-Williams Grand Slam finals, and the first since Wimbledon in 2009.
Serena sat on the court, holding both arms up to celebrate, before Venus walked over to her sister’s side of the net for a hug.
“This was a tough one,” Serena Williams said.
” Williams has won 15 majors since last losing to Venus in a Grand Slam final, at Wimbledon in 2008.
“She’s made an amazing comeback … I don’t like the word comeback,” Serena Williams said.
That included a game when Serena had game point but served back-to-back double-faults and three in all to give up the break.
Both players were relatively subdued, except for Serena’s racket smashing spike on the court in the third game that earned her a code violation.
After the fourth game Serena Williams didn’t face another break point in the 1-hour, 22-minute match.
“Serena Williams, that’s my little sister, guys.
In terms of total years, it was the oldest Grand Slam women’s final in the Open era with the Williams sisters combining for 71 years, 11 months.
Serena got a little bit superstitious Down Under, and hadn’t wanted to talk about the No. 23.
Now there’s a limited-edition racket – 23 to be released, with proceeds going to The Serena Williams Fund – and a pair of custom-made shoes – sent by former NBA star Michael Jordan.