IN PICS: Every one of Serena Williams' record 23 Grand Slam wins

Sport360 staff 28/01/2017

A jubilant Serena Williams said it was "awesome" to finally clinch a record 23rd Grand Slam title after beating her sister Venus in the Australian Open final, a result which also took her back to world number one.

The dominant American won her seventh Aussie title 6-4, 6-4 to finally surpass Steffi Graf's Open-era milestone of 22 major wins, nearly 18 years after she lifted her first Slam trophy at the 1999 US Open.

The 35-year-old Serena, who had equalled Graf's mark at Wimbledon last year, now stands just one behind the all-time record of 24 won by Margaret Court, who was in the president's box at Rod Laver Arena.

"I don't 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."

Serena's astonishing achievement also means she ends the brief stay at world number one of Angelique Kerber, who displaced Williams in September after three-and-a-half years at the top.

Fittingly, her sister and closest confidante, Venus, was on the other side of the net to share the moment of victory, another chapter written in their amazing family history.

"There is no way I would be at 23 without her. There is no way I would be at one (title) without her," said Serena.

"She is my inspiration. She is the only reason I am standing here today and the only reason that the Williams sisters exist."

Most popular

Related Sections

Reem’s Wimbledon diary: Lendl-McEnroe rivalry lives on, superstitions and super Murray Fan

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
Our tennis expert rounds-up a busy final day!

A lot had been made of the return of many legends as coaches in today’s game and the narrative for Sunday’s final was described by some as a showdown between bitter rivals John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl, rather than the players they were coaching.

Lendl has done little to no press since he rejoined the Murray camp but when he spoke briefly with the BBC, he brought back memories of his rivalry with McEnroe with just one cheeky line.

He was asked if he had met McEnroe at Wimbledon during the tournament.

Lendl said he had seen him once in the locker room.

“Was it a long chat?” asked the reporter.

“I didn’t say we chatted,” Lendl quipped back donning his signature poker face.

Classic, Ivan!

Holding this bad boy makes the ice bath that little bit more bearable 🏆😉

A photo posted by Andy Murray (@andymurray) on

Meanwhile, Andy Murray joked that Lendl might have a particular “ritual” during the Scot’s matches, and it’s not what you would expect.

Murray was asked about a moment during Sunday’s final where he appeared to be angry at something regarding his team. The reporter asked if it was because Lendl had left the stadium to go to the toilet.

“No, I wasn’t annoyed (by that). He’s done that after every single match here after two sets. I don’t know if it’s a ritual of his or not. Yeah, I was annoyed at something, but not that,” said Murray.

Reporter: “Can you tell us what you were annoyed at then?”

Murray, smiling: “No. It certainly wasn’t that.”

Another line of questioning sent the press conference room into laughter.

A journalist told Murray about a fan who on Tuesday came out of hospital after a month from having a crushed pelvis from being run over. On Wednesday he came straight here to see Murray play and he was at Wimbledon for the final as well.

“He had the last of his morphine to get himself through the day to watch you. What does it mean to you to have that sort of support? Anything you’d say to that man in particular?” said the journalist.

“Firstly, hopefully he’s okay, and get back on the morphine,” said Murray.

“No, I mean, that’s obviously, yeah, amazing. That’s the thing. Like hearing those stories now, I feel happy and proud.

“They’re all the things I’m trying not to hear during the tournament because there is a lot of pressure and stress. But the support that I had throughout the two weeks, especially today, was amazing support today. It really helps. It does make a difference when you’re out there, for sure.”

“Get back on the morphine” is likely to go down as the line of the tournament.

Most popular

Related Sections

Stinging Wimbledon final defeat will spur Milos Raonic onto new heights

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
Raonic did himself proud in his first major final.

Murray described Raonic as one of the “harder workers” on tour and the Canadian certainly is.

Surrounded by a team that includes three coaches, Italian Riccardo Piatti, Spaniard Carlos Moya, and more recently, American John McEnroe, Raonic has shown that he is willing to do everything to reach his goals and this past fortnight, he came close.

“I’m going to work on everything. I’m not going to leave any stone unturned. I’m going to try to get myself back in this position, try to be better in this position,” said Raonic, who despite his weapon of a serve, could only hit eight aces past Murray and landed just 64 per cent of his first serves in.

“I’m going to try to get fitter, stronger. I’m going to try to improve my return game, improve my serve. I can improve there. Improve my efficiency coming forward. There’s not one thing that I’m not going to try to improve.”

Raonic has no regrets and is proud of the fighting spirit he showed to get passed Roger Federer in the semi-finals, a stage he had stumbled at twice in the past.

“I showed guts. I showed vigor. I got to carry that through to the next events,” said the 25-year-old.

Raonic said he knew that in a maiden grand slam final, he would never be able to play his best tennis “by any means” but he still did enough to make it competitive.

“I was keeping up with him. But then when it counted, I wasn’t able to get on top,” said Raonic.

McEnroe has spent five weeks consulting with Raonic’s team and it is unclear if the American legend will continue working with them in the future.

Raonic hopes to have McEnroe still involved in some capacity, while Piatti believes the seven-time grand slam champion is a much-needed addition to what is essentially a team that is as stacked as the Golden State Warriors.

“I hope John stays part of the team because it’s good for everybody. He has great experience, he loves this game, he loves to work in a team and everybody wants him,” said Piatti.

The Italian coach said Raonic’s serve was not great but it was tied to the fact that he was not doing well on return.

“Serving was not great but for me every time he’s serving depends on how he’s returning. If he’s more aggressive, it’s more easy for him to serve and to make points and to control better. Today was not great but anyway a lot of respect to Murray,” said Piatti.

“Andy is a very smart player because when Milos is staying in the back, he’s moving, when Milos comes, he comes, so he knows a lot about that kind of game.

“That’s his experience that Milos does not have. Milos needs to play many of that kind of matches to get experience. That’s why I think Milos needs also to speak a lot with John McEnroe and Carlos Moya to understand much better how to use his potential.”

Most popular

Related Sections