Serena Williams, left, hugs Venus Williams after winning their quarterfinal match at the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Serena Williams defeated her sister Venus in the Australian Open final early Saturday morning, winning her 23rd Grand Slam title in the Open Era – breaking the record she shared with Steffi Graf. But while celebrating her victory, she gave kudos and honor to her older sister.
“I really would like to take this moment to congratulate Venus. She’s an amazing person. There’s no way I would be at 23 without her. There’s no way I’d be at one without her,” she said. “She’s the only reason that I’m standing here today. She’s the only reason that the Williams sisters exist.”
“Thank you Venus, for inspiring me to be the best tennis player that I can be, and inspiring me to work hard. Every time you got a win this week, it felt like I got a win too.”
Serena Williams has rightfully earned respect as the best women’s tennis player ever and as one of the greatest athletes of all time. She only needs one more Grand Slam victory to surpass the all-time record of 24, by Margaret Court.
But Venus Williams, currently ranked no. 11 in the world, is also one of the sport’s all-time greats. With five Wimbledon singles titles, she is tied for eighth most all-time. She is also one of only six women in the Open Era to win 200 or more main draw Grand Slam singles matches; and is the all-time leader, male or female, in Grand Slams played, with 73. She has seven Grand Slam singles titles, making her 12th all time and second only to Serena among active women players.
Watch Serena’s speech about Venus below.
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