Serena Williams Battles Venus Williams In Australian Open Final
When Venus Williams battled to a 6-7, 6-2, 6-3 victory against fellow American CoCo Vandeweghe in the first semifinal of the 2017 Australian Open and Serena Williams brushed aside 34-year-old Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-2, 6-1 in 50 minutes in the second semifinal of the competition, history was again made at the event as the two sisters are set for a titanic clash in Saturday’s final.
This is the Williams sisters’ 28th meeting since they began their tennis careers. The match, which will be played at the Melbourne Park on Saturday (today), is the ninth Grand Slam final meeting between the two sisters, who have met 15 times in Grand Slam events.
Also, the match is historic as the Melbourne Park is the venue of the sisters’ first competitive meeting in Grand Slam events – they met in the second round of the Australian Open in 1998.
Another piece of history about the sisters is that they are the only two women during the Open Era to play each other in four consecutive Grand Slam finals – the 2002 French Open final, the 2002 Wimbledon Open final, the 2002 US Open final and the 2003 Australian Open final – all of which were won by Serena.
With a combined age of 71 years – Venus is 36 while Serena is 35 – the Williams sisters will make history as the oldest women’s final in the Open Era in terms of combined age. The previous record was held by Flavia Pennetta and Roberta Vinci (66 years) at the 2015 US Open final. Venus will also be competing in Saturday’s final as the oldest Australian Open women’s finalist in the Open Era.
The eight times the Williams sisters have met in Grand Slam finals also makes their match-up the second most frequent in women’s tennis history. It only comes behind the 14 Grand Slam finals between Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert.
However, their Aussie clash is coming after their last meeting in the final of the Wimbledon Open eight years ago – which Serena won. In all Grand Slam matches, Serena has won nine of their last 14 meetings while Venus has only five wins to her name. Also, Serena has won seven of the last eight meetings in finals against Venus. Overall, Serena has won 16 of their last 27 meetings with Venus winning 11.
Their most recent meeting came in the quarterfinals of the 2015 US Open, which Serena won before sensationally falling in the semifinals to Roberta Vinci thereby missing her chance to win a calendar-year Grand Slam.
In her career, Venus has won seven Grand Slam titles against her sister’s 22 titles. With Serena aiming to add one more title to her collection to erase Steffi Graf’s record of 22 Grand Slam titles and Venus chasing an eighth title in her first appearance at a Grand Slam final since 2009, Saturday’s final will prove to be another explosive meeting between the sisters.
On current form, Serena is favoured to clinch the title as she is coming into Saturday’s final having won all the 12 sets she’s played at this year’s Australian Open. In the Open Era, she has won five Grand Slam titles without dropping a set coming behind Martina Navratilova, who has won six Grand Slam titles without dropping a set.
But with Venus, who is battling with Sjogren’s Syndrome, seeking her first Australian Open title and a first Grand Slam title in almost nine years, anything could happen.
“Venus is a total inspiration, my big sister. She’s basically my world and my life, and she means everything to me. I couldn’t be happier with these results, and for us both to be in the final is the biggest dream come true for us,” Serena was quoted as saying by ausopen.com.
“She’s my toughest opponent – nobody has ever beaten me as much as Venus has. I just feel that no matter what happens; we’ve won. She’s been through a lot; I’ve been through a lot. A Williams is going to win the tournament.”
Venus agrees with her sister. “It won’t be an easy match,” she was quoted as saying by cnn.com.
“This opponent is your sister and she’s super awesome.”
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