Serena Williams is once again the Australian Open champion. The 35-year-old athlete beat her sister Venus Williams 6–4, 6–4 in Saturday’s Australian Open final. This marks Serena’s seventh Australian Open title and 23rd Grand Slam title of her career (just one victory shy of Margaret Court’s 24 Grand Slam record). She regains the trophy, having lost to Angelique Kerber in last year’s Australian Open final. Venus was not at all discouraged by the loss, expressing nothing but joy for her younger sister.
Serena Williams posed with the Daphne Akhurst Trophy alongside her sister Venus Photo: Getty Images
"Congratulations, Serena, on number 23," the 36-year-old finalist said. "I have been right there with you. Some of them I have lost right there against you. Your win has always been my win, you know that. All the times I couldn't be there, wouldn't be there, didn't get there, you were there."
Serena Williams also expressed a heartfelt statement, calling her sister an “inspiration” during her victory speech: “I really would like to take this moment to congratulate Venus. She’s an amazing person. There’s no way I would be at 23 [titles] without her. There’s no way I’d be at one without her. There’s no way I’d have anything without her. She’s my inspiration — she’s the only reason I’m standing here today and the only reason the Williams sisters exist. So thank you Venus, for inspiring me to be the best player that I could be and inspiring me to work hard. Every time you won this week, I felt like ‘I’ve got to win too,’ so thank you so much. Thank you. She deserves an incredible round of applause. She’s made an amazing comeback. I definitely, definitely think she’ll be standing here next year, and I don’t like the word ‘comeback.’ She’s never left. She’s been such a great champion — so thank you, Venus.”
Serena Williams was all smiles leaving the court Photo: Getty Images
Venus was visibly moved by her sister’s words, choking up from the praise. In another moving sentiment, Serena shared a photo of the duo hugging on Instagram. “The top is never lonely when your best friend @venuswilliams is there,” the tennis star said. “Here's to #23. What a night for our family.”
Serena and Venus hugged after the Australian Open Photo: Instagram/@serenawilliams
The legendary sisters have supported each other throughout their respective careers. They are used to a little friendly competition, this Open having been the ninth time they faced off in a grand slam final.
Since 1998, the siblings have competed against each other 28 times in various tournaments. In the beginning, Venus won most of the matches, but things took a turn in 2009 when Serena started to reign.