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Australian Open: Serena downs Venus to claim record 23rd Grand Slam title

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Legendary American Serena Williams made history today when she defeated her elder sister Venus in the Australian Open final to become the first person in the Open Era to capture 23 Grand Slam singles titles on Saturday.

Coming into the final, Serena was tied with German icon Steffi Graf for most number (22) of Grand Slam singles titles, she now has sole possession of that record, but is still one behind Australian legend Margaret Court, whose 24 titles came before tennis participation was opened to professional players.

The match started with 4 straight breaks of serve, resulting Serena in smashing her racquet in frustration, earning herself a code violation. Fortunately for Serena, despite her poor start, she was still on level pegging, and when she did eventually find her rhythm there was no stopping her.

Serena picked up the decisive break in the all important seventh game and closed out the opening set 6-4 a few games later.

In contrast to the first set, the second went largely on serve, but it was Serena who was creating the half chances, and she made one of those eventually count, breaking once again in the seventh game to nudge ahead 4-3.

Venus offered a glimmer of hope to her fans when she went up 15-30 on the Serena serve when the younger Williams served for the match at 5-4. It was to be a false dawn though as the day belonged to Serena, who closed out the match and booked her place in history, claiming her seventh Australian and 23rd Grand Slam title.

A generous Venus shared in her post match address on Rod Laver Arena, "Congratulations Serena on number 23! I have been right there with you, some of them I lost right there against you. It's been an awesome win. I'm enormously proud of you, you mean the world to me. I, God willing, would love to come back. Thank you for all the love."

Serena returned the love, saying, "There's no way I would be at 23 without her. There's no way I'd be at one without her. She's my inspiration. She's the only reason I'm standing here today. She's the only reason the Williams sisters exist. Thank you for inspiring me. Every time you won this week, I felt like I got a win too."

Serena's victory this week will also see her reclaim the no.1 ranking on Monday.

Final Score:

[2] Serena Williams d. [13] Venus Williams 6-4, 6-4