Melbourne: Sibling rivalry has been a very common thing in the world of sports. The likes of Pau and Marc Gasol (basketball), Michael and Ralf Schumacher (Formula One), and Mark and Steve Waugh (cricket) have all mesmerised fans of their respective sports.
Tennis too, has had its own set of siblings, with the likes of John and Pattrick McEnroe, Bob and Mike Bryan, and Jamie and Andy Murray.
However, two sisters stood out victorious among all the other sibling duets, as the women’s singles event at the 2017 edition of the Australian Open came to a close among all the glittering flash-lights and shining silverware.
Venus Williams and her sister Serena put up a fine show for the fans on Saturday evening in Melbourne, with the latter coming out victorious in the end.
The two sisters have asserted their dominance over the world of tennis for almost two decades now, winning 30 titles between themselves.
Venus, who has been a great champion herself, having won seven Grand Slams in her career so far. However, the 36-year-old was as graceful as ever, even in defeat, as she went on to praise her opponent and sister Serena, who notched-up her 23rd Grand Slam title.
“Congratulations Serena on number 23. I have been right there with you,” said Venus during the post match presentation. “Some of them I’ve lost right there against you. It’s weird, but it’s true. But it’s been an awesome thing.
“Your win has always been my win. I think you know that,” she continued. “And all the times that I couldn’t be there, wouldn’t be there, or didn’t get there, you were there, I’m enormously proud of you. You mean the world to me.”
Serena, who now has 23 Grand Slam titles against her name, went past Graf’s record of 22 Grand Slams and is only one Slam away from Margaret Court’s record 24 majors.
She showed a lot of grit and character to make a comeback in the first set, where her sister seemed to be calling the shots. Once she got her game going though, Serena swept Venus away, racing towards her 23rd title. This win also got her back to the top of the WTA rankings.
However, Serena was as humble as ever in the post match presentation, thanking her sister for being an inspiration to her.
“I’d like to take this moment to congratulate Venus. She is an amazing person,” said Serena. “There’s no way I would be at 23 without her. There’s no way I would be at one without her. Theres no way I would have been anything without her.
“She’s my inspiration, she’s the only reason I’m standing here today, the only reason why the ‘Williams sisters’ exist, so thank you Venus for inspiring me,” said Serena.
The World No.1 in women’s tennis also congratulated her sister for making a great comeback so late in her career.
“She deserves an incredible round of applause. She’s made an amazing comeback, and I definitely think she will be standing here next year,” said Serena.
“I don’t like the word comeback. She’s never left, she’s been such a great champion,” she further said.
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 28, 2017