Five thoughts on Serena Williams’s historic win over Venus for 23rd Grand Slam title

MELBOURNE – Five quick thoughts on Serena Williams’s 6-4, 6-4 defeat of her sister Venus to win the 2017 Australian Open women’s singles title, her 23rd career major.

• Did you hear about Usain Bolt’s brother, Carl? He’s the world’s second fastest man. Catch wind of Lin Manuel Miranda’s brother, Winston? He’s the genius behind the second most successful show on Broadway. And not just for one race or for one season; but for a 20-year interval.

We jest, of course. But before even considering tonight’s match, just pause to reflect on the context, the sheer statistical unlikelihood, the extraordinary achievement of the women’s final. Two sisters who once shared a bunk bed, coming to dominate a global workforce for decades? Williams-Williams XXVIII coming 19 years after the first matchup? Who writes this stuff?

What makes for an exceptional story doesn’t make for exceptional competition. Understandably so. Consider this from Venus’ standpoint: she stares across the net and sees her sister—age 35, having won “only” one of her last five majors—chasing history, only two short of the all-time record for Slams. And she needs to thwart her? And consider this from Serena’s standpoint: she stares across the net and sees her sister—age 36; having recovered from her autoimmune disease; in her first Slam final since 2009. And she needs to thwart her?

All this

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