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The Queen reigns: Serena beats Venus to win historic 23rd Grand Slam title

Serena beat sister Venus 6-4 6-4 in Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena.

Australian Open Tennis Source: Dita Alangkara

WHAT MOST OF us have known for a long time is now official: Serena Williams is the greatest tennis player of the Open era.

With a straight-sets win against sister Venus in the Australian Open final, Williams won her 23rd Grand Slam singles title on Saturday and eclipsed Steffi Graf.

The only piece of history now left to fall is Margaret Court’s record 24 Grand Slams, won between 1960 and 1973. It is well within reach for the superstar who has dominated the women’s game for almost 20 years and is showing no signs of slowing down at the age of 35.

Australian Open Tennis Source: Dita Alangkara

It took Serena just one hour and 21 minutes to wrap up a 6-4 6-4 win in the latest chapter of this phenomenal sibling rivalry, collecting her seventh Australian Open crown and securing her return to world number one.

This was the ninth Grand Slam final between the sisters, and the first since Wimbledon 2009, as the Australian Open served up a fitting epilogue to a golden age of tennis featuring four of the game’s all-time greats.

On Sunday, Roger Federer and Rafal Nadal pen another chapter in the men’s final, but this day belonged to the Williams sisters.

Australian Open Tennis Source: Dita Alangkara

The first four games all went against the serve as 36-year-old Venus, chasing her eighth singles title, proved that this would be no foregone conclusion.

But after that edgy opening, Serena secured a decisive break to take a 4-3 lead and served out to take the first set.

Venus was forced to save three break points at 1-1 in the second as her little sister ratcheted up the pressure, and while she weathered that storm, Serena’s breakthrough — and that historic record — didn’t take long to follow.

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Serena and Venus 2017: the last chapter in a fairytale nobody saw coming

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