After long pursuit, Serena Williams sets record with 23rd Grand Slam title

Sandra Harwitt, Special for USA TODAY Sports

Published 9:58 a.m. ET Jan. 28, 2017 | Updated 7 minutes ago


Serena Williams beat her sister Venus in straight sets to win the Australian Open and now stands alone as the all-time leader in women’s Grand Slam titles in the Open Era.

MELBOURNE — There was a great deal at stake for Serena Williams in the Australian Open final on Saturday night, far more than having to push aside her older sister.

For Serena, the 6-4, 6-4 win to hoist the Australian Open trophy for a seventh time establishes a brand new record. At 35, she is the only player – man or woman – to win 23 Grand Slam singles titles in the Open Era.

“It’s such a great feeling to have 23,” Williams said. “It really feels great. I’ve been chasing it for a really long time. It feels like, really long time. When it got on my radar, I knew I had an opportunity to get there, and I’m here.”

Now that Williams has Steffi Graf in her rear-view mirror – the two were tied at 22 Grand Slam titles since…

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