Serena Williams wins historic 22nd major title
On one of the most historic courts in the history of the game, Serena Williams broke her record to become the oldest winner of a Grand Slam singles title when she outlasted world No. 1 Naomi Osaka on Monday in the Australian Open final.
After an epic, 10-month battle with Osaka, the 37-year-old American retired in the first set before holding serve to break Osaka, 7-5, and then closing out the match with a forehand winner. With the victory, Williams became the oldest woman to win a major title on the Australian Open women’s schedule and the first ever woman to win consecutive majors.
Williams, who had been in a three-way tie with world No. 5 Angelique Kerber and Garbine Muguruza heading into the final, ended the year with 41 Grand Slam singles titles, a major record on the women’s side. She was also the only first-time major winner in the Open era.
Williams was a two-time champion at the Australian Open, also in 2007 and 2011, and was among the biggest stars on the tour entering the tournament. She lost only eight games in six matches. Williams had never lost in the round of 16 at the Australian Open until Tuesday’s final.
Williams became the only player to win the Australian Open and the French Open before becoming the oldest major champion. The win also makes Williams the highest-profile female athlete to receive an Olympic gold medal, a record eight consecutive gold medals at the Games and the first woman to win four tennis Grand Slam titles in the same calendar year.
The biggest cheers from the crowd came in the fourth set when Williams forced Osaka to serve out at 4-all. Osaka hit only two winners in the set, both on return.
Williams, who won her last major in 2014, came in with a world ranking of No. 4 and an 8-0 match record in 2017. There has been almost as much discussion about Williams’ age as the quality of her career. While many consider her to be only the second-oldest Grand Slam champion in