Serena Williams won her 23rd Grand Slam Saturday morning at the Australian Open, beating big sister Venus.
She won 6-4 6-4 to claim her seventh Australian Open, in the process beating Steffi Graf’s record of 22 Grand Slam wins, and also becoming the oldest female Grand Slam winner in the modern era at 35.
“There’s no way I would be at 23 without her,” Serena said of Venus. “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,” Serena said of her sister, who at the age of 36 reached her first Grand Slam final since 2009.
“She deserves an incredible round of applause, she’s made an amazing comeback. I definitely think she’ll be standing here next year. I don’t like the word comeback – she never left.”
“Every time you won this week, I felt like I got a win too,” Serena said.
And Venus, who has battled through injury to make it back on to the world stage, had nothing but gracious words for her little sister, who she has met in Grand Slam finals nine times overall.
“I have been right there with you, some of them I lost right there against you. It’s been an awesome win,” she told the press.
“All those times I couldn’t be there, didn’t get there, you were there. 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.”
On the stage after the match, Venus said: “That’s my little sister guys.”