Williams sister completes "Serena Slam"

Published: Sunday, January 26, 2003 at 6:23 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 26, 2003 at 12:00 a.m.

Serena has beaten Venus in the final of the last four majors.

Melbourne, Australia Serena Williams has said all along that she's the perfectionist in the family. Now she has a perfect set of trophies from the last four major tennis tournaments.
Williams completed her "Serena Slam" by defeating older sister Venus at the Australian Open, 7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-4 Saturday. Serena has beaten Venus in the final of the last four majors.
The match was filled with mistakes, and Serena committed 54 errors, compared with 51 for Venus. Serena slammed down her racket after a few of the more serious miscues, and she berated a line judge even after winning a key point.
"I think she just about had me," Serena said of her sister. "I just wanted to win so bad."
Serena missed last year's Australian Open with an injury, ruining her shot at becoming the first player since Steffi Graf in 1988 to win a true Grand Slam - all four majors in the same calendar year.
But after winning last year's French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open titles, and now the Australian, Serena joins an elite group of players who have held all four major titles at once; the others are Maureen Connolly, Margaret Court, Martina Navratilova and Graf. Connolly and Court also won all four in the same year.
"I just can't believe I can now be compared to these women," Serena said. "They're such greats, and I don't know if I'll accomplish everything they have. But to even be in the category of winning four in a row is, for me, really amazing, it's something I've always dreamed of and wanted to do."
What's next? "I'm just going to keep fighting, keep working hard and keep smiling," Serena said.
Venus, who now trails her sister 5-4 in major titles won, said she's more motivated than ever.
"I don't want to be the player that won four Grand Slams, whether she wins five or 15," said Venus, who has won Wimbledon and the U.S. Open twice each. "When you look at the great players who have won 20 and all those kinds of numbers, I still have a long way to go - and not much time."
Venus turns 23 in June, while Serena won't be 22 until September.
Errors cost Serena two service games in the first set. After she netted a forehand with Venus out of position, leaving herself at 4-5, she tossed her racket.
But Venus couldn't serve out the set, losing serve for the second time as well. Later, she held for 6-all, helped by a forehand that sent Serena stumbling.
In the tiebreaker, Serena reached 3-1 by taking a ball she thought was out and hitting a forehand past Venus, who had stopped playing.
Serena then turned to the line judge, and shouted, "You just don't call them out, do you?"
The second set was the first Venus had won from Serena in five matches since she beat Serena in the U.S. Open final in September 2001.
The two traded early breaks in the final set, and Serena had five break points to go ahead 5-3. She violently hurled down her racket after finally netting a forehand to give Venus game point.
"That's fine," Venus said. "She's questioning calls and yells and slams the racket. I'm more or less the one that's kind of silent."
In the last game, however, Venus went out with four straight errors, ending with a forehand hit long.
Despite having more errors than her sister, Serena had a 37-28 edge in winners.
They met at the net to hug and whisper in each other's ears. Then Serena blew kisses to the crowd. Venus applauded with her racket.
"I never get choked up, but I'm really emotional right now," Serena said at the trophy ceremony.
On the verge of tears, she added: "I'm really, really, really happy. I'd like to thank my mom and my dad for helping me."
2002 FRENCH OPEN 2002 WIMBLEDON 2002 U.S. OPEN 2003 AUSTRALIAN Agassi vs. Schuettler final
  • If making the men's final is not enough to make him smile, Rainer Schuettler has another reason to be happy.
    Schuettler, known for his down-to-earth manner, said Saturday that he had ordered a hand-built sports car before arriving in Melbourne for the season-opening Grand Slam.
    German reporters said the vehicle that caught his eye is a Weismann Roadster 3.0MF, a two-seat convertible that has 321 horsepower and costs about $163,000.
    Schuettler's unlikely run to the Australian Open final will help soften the blow. Even if he doesn't manage to upset Andre Agassi. The runner-up will collect $327,000, with the winner taking home a little more than $638,000.
    The men's championship match began at 10 p.m. Saturday and was not complete for this edition.
    - Associated Press Navratilova wins again
  • At age 46, Martina Navratilova is a Grand Slam champion again.
    Navratilova served out the match, teaming with India's Leander Paes to beat Todd Woodbridge and Eleni Daniilidou 6-4, 7-5 Sunday for the Australian Open mixed doubles championship.
    It was her first mixed title in the Australian, and completed an impressive cycle - at least one title each in singles, doubles and mixed doubles at all four major tournaments.
    It was her 57th title at a Grand Slam tournament, and eighth in mixed doubles. She also has won 18 singles and 31 doubles, but still trails Australian Margaret Court, who has 62 titles, including 24 singles.
    Agassi overwhelms Schuettler
  • MELBOURNE, Australia - Andre Agassi just keeps getting better with age.
    The 32-year-old Agassi overwhelmed Rainer Schuettler right from the start and breezed to his fourth Australian Open title 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 Sunday, becoming the oldest man to win a Grand Slam singles crown in 31 years.
    "There's not a single day that's guaranteed or promised to us, and certainly days like this are very rare," Agassi said.
    Agassi won his eighth Grand Slam championship. And the victory might also have been enough to lure his wife, Steffi Graf, out of retirement.
    Agassi had said earlier that if he won this tournament, Graf would be his partner for mixed doubles in the French Open. After the final point, Agassi gave a quick wink into the stands at Graf, who won 22 Grand Slam singles titles before she stopped playing three years ago.
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