Unstoppable Serena Williams zeroed in on a record-breaking 23rd Grand Slam title Thursday by setting up an Australian Open final against her older sister Venus, as the siblings’ dream came true.
The ruthless world number two proved one step too far for unseeded Croat Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, whose fairytale tournament was finally ended in a crushing 6-2, 6-1 defeat in just 50 minutes.
In swatting aside the 34-year-old, in their first meeting since 1998, Serena, 35, stayed on track for a seventh Australian title which would take her past Steffi Graf’s Open-era record of 22 major wins.
Only Venus stands in the way after the elder Williams rolled back the years to beat fellow American Coco Vandeweghe 6-7 (3/7), 6-2, 6-3 in the other semi-final.
It opened another chapter in their eventful family history as they meet for their ninth Grand Slam final on Saturday, eight years after the last at Wimbledon in 2009. Serena won that one and holds a 6-2 advantage.
Not only that, it launched Venus to sixth on the all-time list of the oldest Grand Slam finalists in history, aged 36 years, seven months and nine days on the day of her semi-final victory.
Serena’s victory also saw her enter the top-ten of eldest Slam finalists at exactly 35 years and 4 months old.
As you can see here, they are the second and third oldest female finalists at Slams, while the majority of this Open Era list is dominated by Ken Rosewall who features no less than six times.
All stats in this piece were supplied by Sport360’s tennis statistician, Shyam Sundar.