Serena claims 23rd grand slam title

Serena claims 23rd grand slam title

Melbourne, Australia (Reuters): Serena defeated sister Venus Williams in straight sets of 6-4, 6-4 to claim her seventh Australian Open on Saturday in tennis's great sibling rivalry and a record 23rd grand slam title in the professional era.

The Williams-on-Williams final at the Australian Open Saturday was quite the event.

Fourteen years after beating Venus for her maiden title at Melbourne Park, Serena's seventh crown was sealed with a heady charge to the net that forced a desperate backhand from Venus to float wide.

Eyes ablaze in joyous disbelief, Serena slumped to the court and threw her hands in the air, the world number one ranking also re-captured from Angelique Kerber.

She paid tribute to Venus, her long-time doubles partner and enduring inspiration.

Serena, cradling the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup said, "She's an amazing person, there's no way I would be at 23 without her."

"There's no way I would have anything without her,” she added.

"My first grand slam started here, and getting to 23 here, but playing Venus, it's stuff that legends are made of. I couldn't have written a better story."

The win moved Serena past Steffi Graf on the list of all-time grand slam champions. Only Margaret Court, who watched the match from the terraces, is ahead of her on 24.

Serena arrived in Melbourne with only two matches under her belt, having cut short her season to recover from injury after the U.S. Open.

But she roared through the tournament without losing a set and, at the age of 35, the relentless pursuit of grand slam silverware will go on, and with sister in tow.

"We're both, like I say, 30-fun," said Serena of their longevity.

Serena not only claimed 23rd grand slam title but also prize money of over 38 million after wining final at the Australian Open.