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’.