Australian Open Will Have an All-Williams Final

Serena says she will face her 'toughest opponent'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 26, 2017 12:07 AM CST
Australian Open Will Have All-Williams Final
Venus Williams celebrates after defeating compatriot Coco Vandeweghe during their semifinal at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017.   (Aaron Favila)

Serena Williams is one win away from a record 23rd Grand Slam title after setting up an all-Williams final at the Australian Open. Now the only person standing in her way is her older sister, Venus. No. 2-ranked Serena Williams, a six-time Australian Open winner, overwhelmed Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-2, 6-1 in just 50 minutes in the women's semifinals on Thursday after Venus Williams beat fellow American CoCo Vandeweghe 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-3, the AP reports. "She's my toughest opponent—nobody has ever beaten me as much as Venus has," Serena Williams says. "I just feel like no matter what happens, we've won."

"She's been through a lot, I've been through a lot. To see her do so well it's great. I look forward to it—a Williams is going to win this tournament," Serena says. The 36-year-old Venus Williams is back in a Grand Slam final for the first time since Wimbledon in 2009 and her first in Australia since 2003, when she lost the only previous all-Williams final at Melbourne Park and described it as a "battle royale." She has overcome an energy-sapping illness and is playing her best tennis since being diagnosed with Sjogren's syndrome in 2011. "I was really proud of Venus—a total inspiration, my big sister," Serena Williams says. "She's basically my world and my life ... For us both to be in the final is the biggest dream come true for us." (More Serena Williams stories.)

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