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Australian Open 2017: Serena Williams Wins 23rd Slam, Eclipses Steffi Graf

Serena Williams beat elder sister Venus Williams 6-4, 6-4 in the final to clinch the 2017 Australian Open title at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne on Saturday.

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Updated:January 28, 2017, 4:30 PM IST
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Australian Open 2017: Serena Williams Wins 23rd Slam, Eclipses Steffi Graf
Serena Williams (R) beat Venus Williams to win the Australian Open 2017 title. (Getty Images)
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Melbourne: Serena Williams beat elder sister Venus Williams 6-4, 6-4 in the final to clinch the 2017 Australian Open title at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne on Saturday.

The second seeded Serena thumped Venus in one hour and twenty two minutes flat to clinch her seventh Australian Open title. But more importantly, the win made Serena the undisputed queen of women's tennis in the Open era as she eclipsed Steffi Graf's record of 22 Grand Slam titles, starting 1987.

But the debate over who is the better player shall continue because even as Serena eclipsed Steffi on Saturday, she needed 5 more years to reach the coveted '23-Slams' mark. Steffi had won 22 Grand Slam titles in 12 years, starting with the French Open back in 1987. For Serena, her maiden title came at the US Open in 1999.

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Serena is also just one title behind the legendary Margaret Court's all-time best record of 24 Slams.

"She's (Venus) an amazing person, there's no way I would be at 23 without her," the second seed Serena said, cradling the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup at the trophy ceremony.

"There's no way I would have anything without her. She's the only reason the Williams sisters exist, so thank you for inspiring me to be the best that I can be," said Serena

"Congratulations Serena on number 23, I've been right there with you, some of them I've lost with you. Your win has always been my win, you know that," Venus Williams said after the blockbuster clash.

Australian Open 2017, Women's Singles Final: As It Happened

The first set had an emotional bearing on the two as both Venus and Serena failed to hold onto their respective serves till 2-2.

Venus finally managed to hold onto her serve after few uncharacteristic unforced errors by Serena to make it 3-2.

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Serena then picked up her game at the right moment, winning the next three games and gaining the opportunity to serve for the first set.

Back to back unforced errors by Venus didn't help her cause either as Serena closed down the first set 6-4 in just 41 minutes.

The second set was a much more even affair as both stars kept holding their respective serves. However, Serena finally managed to get that all important break to take a 4-3 lead in the second set.

From there on it was just a matter of Serena holding her serve and that is what she managed to do to take the second set 6-4 and clinch the historic title in Melbourne.

Serena's fiance Alexis Ohanian was ecstatic as he kept egging the champion on from the stands.

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