Australian Open 2017 - Women's final
The sister act Serena makes it 23
On the first day of the tournament when I saw that Serena and Venus were in separate halves of the draw, I remember thinking, wouldn't be cool to have a sisters final this year again? But I quickly dismissed the thought. Serena is, of course, always the favourite to win. Venus, on the other hand, hadn't reached a major final since 2009 and has been suffering with an injury to her right forearm that forced her to withdraw from Auckland a couple of weeks earlier. And then there are 126 other players who also want to make it to the final and will do everything in their power to get there. It was good to see both Serena and Venus play so well this tournament. Serena had a tough draw, struggled at times with her serve and yet she made it to the final without dropping a set and having to face two former top 10 opponents in her opening rounds. Venus’ draw was easier but it doesn't mean she didn't have to work hard to win. She only lost one set en route to the final against Wandeweghe. In form Serena and in form Venus promised a great view for the spectators on Rod Laver Arena. Both sisters came out with their game faces on.
Venus served first and was immediately broken by Serena’s massive hitting. But then she returned the favour. In the third game Serena broke again for a 2:1 lead. She couldn't hold on to it either and Venus levelled again for 2:2. In the next game Venus pushed sister giving Serena a taste of her own medicine. But as Serena often does she raised her level and broke for a 4:3 lead with a massive backhand down the line winner. Venus held on to her serve at 4:5 but Serena claimed the set serving back to back aces. Serena has never lost a major final when winning the first set. In the second set Venus had to work hard to avoid being broken in the beginning of the set. She held her serve from 0:40 down with an impressive set of forehand winners. Venus did well to keep up with Serena but it was the younger sister who eventually broke to lead 4:3. At 3:5 down Venus held her serve at forced Serena to serve for the match. And she did. It took Serena 82 minutes to make history. She’s now surpassed Graf’s Open Era record of 22 major wins. She stands just one win a way from the all time record of 24 held by the Australian Margaret Court.
Serena's record 7th Australian Open win marks her return to the top of the WTA rankings. She lost the No. 1 spot when she was beaten by Karolina Pliskova in the semifinals of the US Open last year. With no. 23 under her belt and back at no. 1 spot Serena is on the top of the world.
Venus’ tournament ends with a loss but it’s definitely a tournament she can be proud of. She’s shown over and over again that age is just a number and that she’s still got a lot of good tennis inside her. Inspiring
Win or lose the trophy stays in the family!