Serena Williams beat her sister Venus Williams 6-4, 6-4 in the Australian Open final on Saturday to win her 23rd grand slam singles title and become the most successful tennis player in the open era. The 35-year-old American’s victory gave her a seventh Melbourne Park crown and sent her clear of Germany’s Steffi Graf at the top of the list of most prolific grand slam winners since the game turned professional in 1968. Get highlights of Saturday’s Australian Open women’s final between Serena Williams vs Venus Williams here. ALL TIMINGS BELOW in IST.
3:51 pm: “There’s no way I would be at (No.23) without her. Without her, the ‘Williams Sisters’ wouldn’t exist.” -- Serena on Venus.
3:50 pm: “We’ll see her again next year... I don’t like the word ‘comeback.’ She never left.” -- Serena on Venus.
3:40 pm: That’s also the 316th win in Grand Slams for Serena Williams — most for any man or woman in the Open Era. Serena also reclaims the No 1 spot
3: 36 pm: Serena Williams joins Martina Navratilova as the only other woman to win six Grand Slams without dropping a set.
3:30 pm: SERENA WINS 6-4, 6-4 for record 23 Grand Slam title in an hour and 21 minutes. Serena smashes Steffi Graf’s record of 22 Open Era titles. She is now just 1 just of Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24.
3:29 pm: Serena leads 40-30. Championship point.
3:28 pm: Longest rally -- 24 shots, Serena down 15-30.
3:24 pm: An unforced backhand error from Serena and Venus just manages to keep her hopes alive. It’s 5-4 in the second set at the Rod Laver Arena. Venus will have to break Serena, who will now serve for the match.
3:20 pm: Dominant stuff from Serena. Holds on to her serve without dropping a point. Takes the lead to 5-3. Venus will now have to hold her serve to stay in the match
3:18 pm: BROKEN! Venus managed to save two break points in the game but on the third, it was a brilliant backhand winner from Serena and she now takes the lead at 4-3 in the second set.
3:12 pm: Venus loses the game with an unforced error. Serena draws level at 3-3 in the second set.
3:09 pm: Venus slams an ace to take the lead in the second set. It’s 3-2 for her at the Rod Laver Arena.
3:05 pm: An unforced error from Venus and Serena holds on to her serve to level things at 2-2 in the second set.
3:02 pm: What a terrific comeback from Venus! She was 0-40 down, but went on take five consecutive points to hold on to her serve. It’s 2-1 to Venus at the end of the third game in the second set.
2:57 pm: It’s a better start to the second set for Serena as she manages to hold on to her serve. It’s all tied at 1-1 in the second set at the Rod Laver Arena.
2:55 pm: Venus holds on to her serve in Game 1 of the second set. It’s 1-0 at the Rod Laver Arena
2:50 pm : Serena Williams takes the first set 6-4 in 41 minutes. Both sisters really fighting it out. Two consecutive aces seals the set for her. Good comeback from the World No. 2 after dropping those initial serves.
2:48 pm: Venus Williams stays alive in the first set as she holds on to her serve. It’s still 5-4 in Serena’s favour though and she’ll now serve for the set.
2:45 pm: Serena holds her serve. It’s 5-3 for her in the first set at the Rod Laver Arena. Good comeback from her after being 0-30 down.
2:40 pm: Serena had just one break point and she took it well. Brilliant backhand winner from her as she goes 4-3 up.
2:36 pm: Serena finally manages to hold her serve. Venus with a backhand forced error there and it’s 3-3.
2:33 pm: Venus becomes the first player to hold her serve. It’s 3-2 in the first set at the Rod Laver Arena. Neither Venus nor Serena could hold on to their first 2 serves. Each broke each other.
2:30 pm: Yet another double fault from Serena and Venus breaks back. It’s 2-2 in the first set at the Rod Laver Arena. What a terrific start this has been. Follow live score and updates here.
Serena smashes a return back on the net and it’s break point #2 for Venus
2:29 pm: Two consecutive double faults from Serena and Venus holds the advantage now. But Serena blasts an ace to pull things back to deuce.
2:28 pm: A double fault from Serena and it’s deuce on Game 4
2:27 pm: In three games, we have three breaks and a broken racket so far!
2:24 pm: Serena with the break! It’s 2-1 as Venus fails to hold on to her serve. Another unforced error from Venus.
2:23 pm: An unforced forehand error from Venus and its break point #3 for Serena
2:22 pm: An unforced error from Venus and Serena holds the advantage. And Venus has saved it again! A brilliant backhand winner
2:21 pm: That’s surely been frustrating for the 22 times Grand Slam winner. Serena Slams her racket!
2:20 pm: Venus goes on the advantage. A bit of a wobble on the net and Serena can’t come anywhere near it from the baseline
2:19 IST: Venus saves it with a forehand volley winner. It’s deuce in Game 3.
2:18 pm: Serena earns yet another break point.
2:16 pm: Venus breaks back! It’s all tied at 1-1 after two games at the Rod Laver Arena. Game on!
2:15 pm: It’s Deuce on Game 2. A backhand unforced error from Serena. Venus now has a break point. An unforced error from Serena.
2:11 pm IST: BREAK! Serena earns the break in Game 1 itself. Leads 1-0
2:09 pm: Serena with two break points early on in Game 1
2:01 pm: Serena wins the toss and Venus to serve to start the game.
1:57 pm: The Williams sisters are out on the court now.
1:50 pm: Venus Williams (36) will be the oldest women’s player to lift the Australian Open singles title if she wins today. The record is held by the late Thelma Coyne Long who won it aged 35 back in 1954.
1:42 pm: Serena Williams will reclaim the No 1 spot if she wins the Australian Open
1:30 pm: If Serena wins the title in straight sets against Venus, she’ll join Martina Navratilova as the only other woman to win six Grand Slams without dropping a set. At present, she shares the second spot at five with Chris Evert and Steffi Graf.
1:15 pm: Serena has won seven of the last eight meetings against Venus.
1:12 pm: In most head-to-head meetings in Grand Slams among women in the Open era, only Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova (22) have clashed more times than the Williams sisters.
1:09 pm: This will be the ninth clash at a Grand Slam final between Serena Williams vs Venus Williams and is the second-most in the all-time list behind Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert (14).
1:04 pm: Serena holds a 6-2 edge over Venus in Major finals, 9-5 in overall Grand Slam clashes and a 16-11 edge in career meetings.
It's one of the best matches a tennis fan could ask for!— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 28, 2017
So what do the fans think of the Serena v Venus matchup? https://t.co/foGTfafHEF
Coincidentally, Rafael Nadal holds a similar 6-2 edge over Roger Federer in Grand Slam finals. Federer and Nadal will face each other in the men’s singles final tomorrow.
1:00 pm: At a combined age of 71, this is the oldest Grand Slam final ever.
12:57 pm: The last time the two met in a Grand Slam final was in the 2009 Wimbledon; Serena won in straight sets. Serena has also won the last time the two have met in a Grand Slam (2015 US Open quarterfinal).
12:45 pm: Venus Williams spent four years in the wilderness from 2011-14, a period in which she was unable to surpass a fourth round at any of the majors.
12:44 pm: Eras have come and gone but Serena Williams has never left the stage, winning nine grand slam titles since turning 30.
A seventh title at Melbourne Park would add further credit to Serena Williams’ claim as the greatest of all time, despite being one short of Australia’s Margaret Court, whose 24 major titles were split between the amateur and professional eras.
For 13th seed Venus Williams, her first grand slam final in eight years is already a stunning victory of perseverance in the face of her struggles to manage Sjogren’s syndrome, an auto-immune disease that causes fatigue and joint pain.
Both players stormed into the semi-finals without a set dropped.
However, where second seed Serena Williams romped into the final with a 50-minute demolition of Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, Venus needed to summon her peerless experience to fend off feisty fellow American Coco Vandeweghe in three sets.
Saturday’s final will be the Williams sisters ninth at a grand slam and their first since Wimbledon in 2009, where Serena won in two sets.