Serena Williams has won the 2017 Australian Open, beating sister Venus Williams 6-4 6-4 in the final on Saturday.
The title gives her her 7th Australian Open title, and a record 23rd Grand Slam title. The record previously belonged to the legendary Steffi Graf, who won 22 Open-era Grand Slam titles.
“I don’tSer like numbers during a tournament when I am trying to reach a big milestone. Now we can talk about it,” she told ESPN, after posing in shoes branded with ’23’ on the heel.
“It’s pretty awesome. I really wanted to get to 23, more than you can ever imagine. And I kept telling myself, ‘Serena, 22 isn’t bad’.
“To get to number 23 here is really rather special, against Venus as well because my first big match was against her here on this court. Going into this match, it felt like it was all full circle.”
It was the ninth Grand Slam final between the Williams sisters, with Serena now leading by 7 wins to 2 for Venus. The win also ensured a return to the world number one spot for Serena, as she replaced former number one Angelique Kerber.
“Serena Williams… That is my little sister, guys. Congratulations Serena on number 23,” said an emotional Venus after the victory.
“I have been right there with you, some of them I lost right there against you. Yes, that is weird but it is true.”
She added: “To have this opportunity to play against each other again, and to be able to rise to that occasion, was quite momentous.”
Serena’s next target would be Margeret Court’s overall record of 24 Grand Slam titles.