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Serena Williams Defeats Sister Venus To Take 23rd Grand Slam Title

Serena Williams holds the winner's trophy following her victory in the women's singles final in the Australian Open in Melbourne Saturday.
Paul Crock
AFP/Getty Images
Serena Williams holds the winner's trophy following her victory in the women's singles final in the Australian Open in Melbourne Saturday.

Tennis star Serena Williams has taken her record-setting 23rd Grand Slam singles title with a win against her sister Venus at the Australian Open Saturday.

The win moves Serena to the top spot in the number of major tennis titles during the Open era, which began in 1968.

It's Serena's seventh Australian Open victory, winning 6-4 6-4 against her older sister. She now returns to the No. 1 spot after losing that ranking in September to Angelique Kerber.

Despite an intense game in the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, the two sisters were all smiles and compliments in the post-match ceremony.

"There's no way I could be at 23 without her," Serena, 35, said of her sister. "Thank you Venus for inspiring me to be the best player I can be."

"Serena Williams. That's my little sister, guys," Venus said. "Your win has always been my win."

The last time the two sisters faced off for the Australian Open was in 2003, which resulted in a win for Serena. She now has a 17-11 career record against Venus, which includes a record of 10-5 of Grand Slams, The Associated Press reports.

With a combined age of 71, the sisters made up the oldest women's Grand Slam final. At 36, Venus was the oldest Grand Slam finalist in 23 years.

"I really elevated my game somehow," Serena told ESPN afterward, saying she still thinks she's in the prime of her career. "I really wanted to get to 23 so bad, more than you can imagine" she added.

The Australian Open continues Sunday, when Roger Federer is scheduled to face off against Rafael Nadal in the men's final.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

James Doubek is an associate editor and reporter for NPR. He frequently covers breaking news for NPR.org and NPR's hourly newscast. In 2018, he reported feature stories for NPR's business desk on topics including electric scooters, cryptocurrency, and small business owners who lost out when Amazon made a deal with Apple.

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