On Saturday, January 28, Serena Williams and her sister Venus were paired for the final round. After two matches with scores of 6 and 4, and again 6 and 4, Serena took home the trophy. Both sisters fought well, but ultimately Serena demonstrated she had the upper hand.
The Australian Open is the first of four tournaments in a calendar year, collectively known as the Grand Slam. These four tournaments are the Australian Open held in Melbourne, Australia, the French Open in Paris, France, Wimbledon hosted in London, England, and the U.S. Open. The 2017, U.S. Open will be hosted in the Arthur Ashe Stadium, New York City, New York. Each Open tournament lasts over the course of two weeks.
This win secured Serena Williams’ 23rd major title. At 35-years-old, she is now the oldest woman to have ever won a Grand Slam event since the Open tournaments originated. Serena has won seven Australian Open titles, six U.S. Open titles, seven at Wimbledon, and three at the French Open. Although she lost last year’s Australian Open to Angelique Kerber, she reigned once again at this year’s first event. Of the last three tennis tournaments in Melbourne, Serena has won two. Her major wins span 18 years.
Serena’s nerves got to her during this particular game; she knew her 23rd major title was hers for the taking if she wanted it badly enough. She smashed a tennis racket and promptly received a code violation. She had prepared for her sister to be a tough competitor, but they both came out of the gates swinging. Prior to this match, her coach Patrick Mouratoglou had not wanted Serena to know that the ultimate outcome of the game would determine her ranking as No 1. After the win, Serena again took this title back from Angelique Kerber.
Venus and Serena Williams’ rivalry is legendary, and for good reason. With a combined on-the-court winnings of $116 million, the competition is fierce. Serena Williams has won more from her on-the-court winnings than any other female tennis player, or female athlete for that matter, clocking in at $81.7 million. Serena is titled the highest paid female athlete by Forbes and her net worth at $150 million in 2016. Both Venus and Serena have secured major endorsements over their tennis careers and have both created their own separate clothing lines. In 2009, Venus and Serena Williams purchased an ownership stake of the Miami Dolphins and are the only African American females to do so.
After the win, both Venus and Serena Williams exchanged encouraging words to each other. They were both extremely proud of each other, and they weren’t just saying it for the cameras.
“Congratulations, Serena, on No. 23,” Venus Williams said. “I have been there right with you. Some of them I lost right there against you. I guess that’s weird, but it’s been an awesome thing. Your win has always been my win. I think you know that. And all the time I couldn’t be there, wouldn’t be there, didn’t get there, you were there. I’m enormously proud of you. You mean the world to me,” according to The New York Times.
Serena responded in kind, explaining that she would not even have one win without her sister, Venus. Their sister rivalry is the stuff that keeps the audiences coming back for more. Including this year’s Australian Open, the sisters have been matched in tournaments a total of 28 times. With this win under her belt, Serena Williams has won 17 of those 28 matches.
Serena Williams is, once again, No. 1. There is talk concerning the future of tennis, particularly Americans’ participation in future tennis, after Serena and Venus retire. But for the love of the game, Serena is certainly here to stay for the foreseeable future.
[Featured Image by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images]