Serena pays tribute to Venus after record win

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By AFP
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Serena Williams said she had to dig deep to see off her sister Venus and finally win a record 23rd Grand Slam title at the Australian Open on Saturday.

Serena overcame a nervy and error-strewn start when she smashed a racquet in frustration before reeling in a tense 6-4, 6-4 victory in one hour, 22 minutes.

It was all about the result for Serena, who clinched a new Open-era record of 23 major wins, overhauling Steffi Graf’s 22 — and returned to world number one into the bargain.

“Today was all heart out there, I was just fighting. The fact that she is so good made it that much harder,” Serena told Australia’s Channel Seven.

She added: “I swear I didn’t hit the racquet that hard — how did it crack that much?”

Newly-engaged Serena, 35, said she deliberately avoided any talk of Graf’s record during the tournament, a strategy that helped her relax.

“It is crazy. I knew I had a chance (of breaking the record). But I didn’t like to talk about records anymore. That helped me relax,” she said.

“I came into this tournament really thinking that I didn’t have anything to lose and nothing to prove. I just told myself to have fun and it worked for me. I was relaxed this time.”


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