Serena Williams has captured her 23rd major singles title with a straight-sets defeat of her sister Venus in the women’s Australian Open final on Rod Laver Arena.
Both Serena and Venus displayed nerves in what was their second Australian Open final where they have faced each other across the net, but it was the younger of the siblings who triumphed 6-4, 6-4.
Serena, who has reclaimed the number one ranking from last year’s victor Angelique Kerber, last held aloft the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup in 2015 and Saturday’s win is her seventh in a singles final at Melbourne Park.
She now moves above Steffi Graf with the most singles majors in the Open era, but still sits behind Australia’s Margaret Court (24) on the all-time list.
Among countless other records, Serena – at 35 years and 125 days – also extended her own record as the oldest woman to win a major in the open era.
“I am trying to stay up here as long as I can,” she said. “I missed it last year.”
Serena also chose to heap praise on Venus, who she beat in the 2003 final at Melbourne Park, describing her older sister as “an amazing person”.
“There is no way I would be at 23 without her,” she said.
“There is no way I would be at one without her. She is my inspiration, she is the only reason I am standing here today and the only reason that the Williams sisters exist.
“Thank you Venus for inspiring me to be the best player that I could be and inspire me to work hard every time you won this week I felt like I got a win too.”
“Congratulations Serena on number 23. I have been right there with you, some of them I lost right there against you,” Venus said with a laugh.
“Your win has always been my win, I think that you know that. Those time that I couldn’t be there, didn’t get there, you were there.”
The Williams sisters were meeting for the ninth time in a major final – but first since 2009 – and this was Serena’s seventh success in the contests that mattered most.