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Sunday, Sep 22, 2019

Venus says Australian Open final ‘monumental’ despite loss vs Serena Williams

Venus Williams, who lost in the final of the Australian Open to her younger sibling Serena Williams, has said she is happy to see the family name on the trophy.

tennis Updated: Jan 28, 2017 19:18 IST
Venus Williams lost in the final to Serena Williams but she was happy that the family name was present in the Australian Open trophy.
Venus Williams lost in the final to Serena Williams but she was happy that the family name was present in the Australian Open trophy.(AP)

Venus Williams says being in another Grand Slam final against her sister Serena was “momentous” and despite losing, she was just happy to see her family name on the Australian Open trophy.

The 36-year-old was competing in her 15th major title match but her first since Wimbledon in 2009, but she could do nothing to halt her sister’s march to a record 23rd Grand Slam crown 6-4, 6-4.

Asked if she was disappointed, she replied: “No, because I guess I’ve been here before, you know. I really enjoy seeing the name ‘Williams’ on the trophy. This is a beautiful thing.”

Making another big-time final late in her career, after battling back from the energy-sapping Sjogren’s syndrome, which was diagnosed in 2011, was already a bonus for Venus.

And it has only made her want more success, with no plans to slow down, despite now holding the record as the oldest finalist at Melbourne Park in the Open era.

“I played against a lot of players who were in form. So it’s a good thing. It’s a great start to the year and I’m looking forward to the rest of year,” she said.

“This is like tournament number two (after Auckland) and it’s already a lot of work. I’m looking forward to tournament number three and four. It’s going to be awesome.

“I’m ready to kill it this year. That’s my goal. Who goes into the year and says, ‘Oh, my God, it’s not going to be a good year? Who says that? Not me.”

Williams has won seven Grand Slam finals and has now lost eight. Nine of her major finals have been against Serena.

Few would have picked an all-Williams final when the tournament got underway two weeks ago, and Venus recognises that it may not happen again, making the moment even more memorable.

“Serena’s been in a lot of finals, but I haven’t been able to be there as much as she has,” she said.

“To have this opportunity to play against each other again, and to be able to rise to that occasion, was quite momentous.”

In beating Venus, Serena finally surpassed Steffi Graf to become the Open-era Grand Slam record winner with 23, just one shy of the all-time mark of 24 held by Margaret Court.

Venus said it was an honour to be part of history being made.

“Yeah, it’s a great number. I know she would like to have a little more. Who wouldn’t?” she said.

“It was a great moment. I’m very happy that she’s been able to get to number 23 because there’s 22 ahead of that that she also earned, and she earned it.”

First Published: Jan 28, 2017 17:40 IST