Women's Final Highlights Australian Open Tennis


Women's Final Highlights

The best of the action from the Australian Open women's singles final at Melbourne Park, where Venus Williams faces Serena Williams. Commentary by Jonathan Overend and John Lloyd.


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Good afternoon. The Williams sisters met in Melbourne earlier today. It

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was the latest chapter in their remarkable family story. Years ago

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on the courts in Compton, California, they were coached by

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their father Richard who suggested early on his daughters would go on

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to compete in Grand Slam finals. 30 years on, Venus and Serena stand

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with 29 majors between and $120 million in prize money. It's an

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achievement that must exceed even Richard's high expectations. It's

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been an incredible journey. COMMENTATOR: They may well be

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sisters but this has become one of tennis 's great rivalries.

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It's the Williams sisters day. A remarkable occasion once again for

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the Williams sisters. # Will never be defeated. Finally

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Venus getting the better of Serena here in the final. It will be an all

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Williams sister final once again. STUDIO: They have had their battles

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over the years. This is their 28th meeting. It is no great surprise

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Serena is competing for the title, but Venus's journey back to the top

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has been inspirational. Suffering an autoimmune disorder which saw her

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plummet outside the world top 104 years ago, she has never thought of

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giving up her dream of competing on the big stage. -- outside the world

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top 100, four years ago. Serena is focused on moving ahead of Steffi

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Graf on 23 Grand Slam titles. Just one behind Margaret Court. One thing

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if the sure, their passion for the sport is as strong as ever. Today

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Venus takes on younger sister 35-year-old Serena. Venus is ready

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for play. And of course, Serena, a win would see her return to the top

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of the world rankings. CHEERING

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A huge ovation, and this was the first of two fascinating finals we

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are looking forward to in Melbourne this weekend. We can join the final.

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There have been two breaks of serve. It is 1-1. Our commentators join us

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now. COMMENTATOR: That wasn't a bad

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second serve. Double fault. Because of the

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pressure put on to the point before. Serena hit that big winner. Went

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deep on that second. Fierce hitting! A couple of amazing

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lunges to get the ball back into play from Venus Williams. Please

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remain quiet during the point. Good luck with that! Alison Hughes from

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Great Britain in the umpire's check again for another Australian Open

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final. Hello! It's a bit early for that!

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She isn't going to finish the job like Wawrinka did the other day. He

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got it at 90 degrees like that, then decided to finish the job over his

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knee! Unusual to see that from Serena so

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early in a match. Very unusual. Talk about tension.

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You can see where Venus Williams, well, for both sisters, the first

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serve percentage looks like it's going to be very important. Every

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time a second serve comes in, both Serena and Venus are going for that

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first strike winner. Didn't get the feet moving on that

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one. We just saw that picture of the

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coach of Venus Williams. You imagine both coaches saying the night before

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the match, everything you normally do in the match, do the opposite

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when you play today. They played each other so many times, they know

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exactly where they are going to hit the ball. Imagine the amount of

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times they play, they know each other's games so easily.

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Particularly on the returns. One bracket smash at the start of

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this final. -- racket. One racket down but Serena won game in front.

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Two breaks to one. The second slice backhand she has

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missed. Got it a little bit late, taking that racket back. Court

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surface is very fast this year at the Australian Open.

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Well played! What a 1-2 punch that was, the return was fantastic. And

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the second shot, the depth. She just leaned into this, what pace,

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accuracy. Two doubles in a row, that's three

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already for Serena. Inside three service games. That's the pressure

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she is putting on that second serve. When you have served like that there

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is no whatsoever from Serena Williams of a three quarters serve

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in just to get it in after serving two double faults. She is so

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confident that she will go for the big serve.

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Three double faults and an ace. Extraordinary game, that was. Venus

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has made two of the greatest service in women's tennis history and we

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have had four breaks already. Definitely signs, though, that

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Serena is feeling the tension out there.

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The frustration of Venus because she knows how important the second serve

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points are. That was only the fourth out of 20

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second serve points played which has been won by the server. Serena

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finally getting her first service hold on the board.

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I was expecting a higher ballplayer and it came out pretty quickly. She

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did well there. Drop volley. Oh! LAUGHTER. That's the real Serena!

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That really was outstanding tennis, those last two points.

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Oh! Using all her wingspan there! Tremendous striking of the ball

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here. Both sisters having that forehand to forehand, then this

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angle. That was just brilliant. Although Serena tried to slow the

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pace up with one forehand there to give a different look to Venus, it

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didn't work. Well, it's hotting up now, isn't it?

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Take the last couple of points from the previous game, we are in the

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middle of something here. The first time, really, in this

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final. A little bit of daylight on the scoreboard.

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Just at the moment, Venus, the last couple of games, over hitting the

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Borno. Needs to pull the range back a little bit. Going a little too

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much -- overhitting the ball, now. There's not much wrong footing you

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can do against someone you know so well. They've played each other so

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many times. They know every twitch, every movement, every pattern of

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play. She knows this seems so well, her

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seventh Australian Open final. She's won six of them previously. Serving

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for the first set, Serena Williams. The longevity of both these players

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is something extraordinary. They played here in 1998, 19 years ago.

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Is set away, Serena, now. Moving on to 23 Grand Slam singles titles,

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what an achievement that would be. Is still work to be done. A couple

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of aces when it mattered, she holds to love and takes the opening set.

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We pick it up in the second, it is one game all.

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There's that pressure, Serena Williams moving inside the baseline.

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Venus knows that second serve is going to be attacked, and goes it

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too much. In big trouble here. As you say, Serena's record on

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second serve return suggests Venus needs more first deliveries, here.

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She's got two of them. I was just thinking whether or not the coach

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would say to her, hit a three quarters serve like she just did and

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make sure you get high percentage. That's what she just did on that

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point, let's see if she carries on with that tactic. Right there. Yes,

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she took the pace off again on that first serve. I think she was

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reacting to that. She wouldn't know exactly the statistics that we know

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but she'll be knowing pretty close what's going on. They are both very

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good matchplay is. Venus has only 12 of the 13 points played on her

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second serve. -- has only won two of the 13 points. At least she's in the

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rally with that serve, at least she has a chance to get into the point.

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She keeps giving Serena second serves to have a go at, she's in big

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trouble every time. That's really impressive! What a

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recovery from 0-40! Five first serves in a row from that moment. No

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great coincidence that Venus should win all five points. Sometimes

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tactically, that little switch up does need to be made. Absolutely.

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That's where experience tells. An amazing lady, Venus Williams. She

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made her debut on the tour in 1994! LAUGHTER 23 years ago! Many, if not

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most of her opponents, weren't even born when she made her debut!

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Serena has been reading notes at every changeover. You don't often

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see them doing that. I'm sure it wouldn't be too complicated, there

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will be three or four bullet points they would have talked about the

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night before, just to keep reminding yourself. It's amazing in the heat

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of battle, even someone as experienced as Serena Williams,

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might lose her way for a second and then re-engage by checking out the

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notes. Very difficult to know, where do you

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lean towards on that side when she is serving? Do you nudge over one

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way or the other? She can hit any spot, that's the problem. The pace

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is so great. It's very difficult. It's the equivalent of playing

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Ivanesevic, when you almost have to guess. Now, I think she's annoyed

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herself because she had enough time to get round and hit a forehand

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there on the second serve. So desperate to get ahead in that

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first strike, Venus Williams. She set it up with the return, it

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was a strong second shot as well. What a pity, Venus Williams played

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such a good point there. It's that easy shot at the end.

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Went back to going for the big first serve on that point.

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Went for the bigger second serve as well! She has no choice.

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It's a victory of sorts for Venus Williams to be back in a Grand Slam

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final. Trying to win the Australian Open for the first time, 19 years

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after her debut in Melbourne. The last Grand Slam singles title

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was Wimbledon 2008. Last played a final in Wimbledon 2009.

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Game, Venus Williams. She serves out impressively for a 3-2 lead. Four of

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Venus Williams 's seven Grand Slam singles titles were more than 15

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years ago. Amazing achievement, to be back here playing for another

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one. There is the prize. These two ladies contested the trophy in 2003.

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Five breaks of serve in the first set of this final, so far in the

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second, five games going with serve. There are a lot of errors coming

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from Venus Williams but she has to play this kind of game to win this

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match. She has to be aggressive and take chances. She certainly can't

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play a defensive game. She doesn't have that in her game anyway, but

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against Serena she just has to go for it, take chances, and I am sure

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she will create more winners than losers. At the moment she is

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definitely in this match. Again, Serena are all over the

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second serve. That rotation of their hips there on that backhand. Rotates

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round, extension all the way through the ball. Good recovery there from

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Venus. Oh, that's just... It's so brilliant

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there, Serena Williams most of the time defending in that rally, then

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she gets one chance, really, to open up the court, and she's got such

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power and accuracy, she takes over the rally. Such a good athlete.

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That's the forehand, that one there, that's the one that creates the

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error. So good. And does. Two break points saved in

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this game by Venus. Just lapping up the second service

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returns in that game. A break ahead, 4-3, two games away from the title.

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Well, what a career both these ladies have had. They have spanned

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three decades, four US presidents and five UK prime ministers. Still

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going, playing for another Grand Slam title. Serena two games away

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from it. Curved that ball out of the

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forehand, and then she can flatten it out when she wants to, as well.

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Four times to the forehand there in that game, four first serves stop

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Whitwell, that flew by in less than a minute. -- four first serves.

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Well, that flew back in less than a minute.

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Venus Williams serving to stay in the match at 3-5.

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Well played! Still in there, fighting, digging very deep in that

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game to stay in the championship. For now.

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We talk so much about her sister, don't wait, but Venus Williams, 36

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years of age. Considering six years ago she had to take time off the

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Tour with Vista below -- tour with this debilitating disease she

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contracted. To get back to this level says so much, doesn't it,

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about her desire and commitment to the sport. It shows once again that

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the Williams sisters got it right with their hold tennis career, the

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way they prepared, the way they took time off that periods in their

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career to do other things, everyone said that was a no- no, you had to

:59:07.:59:10.

be 100% focused on your tennis career or you would never make it,

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but what it has done, the longevity is here, they still love the game,

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they look like they are in their 20s, they don't look their age at

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all. They want to play all the time, they are hungry. It looks like they

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could play another five years as well. and they have had a varied

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life outside of sport, as well. Exactly. Almost part-timers at some

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points, but they are grateful today because they are playing for that

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trophy. It is on the line for the winner of the Australian Open. We

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may just have a champion in waiting here, because Serena Williams, six

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times a winner in the past, is serving for the match.

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There have certainly been flashes of brilliance from Venus Williams in

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this match. That was a tremendous start to this game. What a first

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return that was. On the line from Venus! How hard is

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she working here?! Saying to her little sister, you aren't going to

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get this title easily. Best rally in the match.

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This is really heavy hitting now from both these fierce competitors.

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It used to be said that they couldn't play against each other,

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certainly in the early days of their rivalry, there were some matches

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which were average at best. But believe me, there are more decent

:03:08.:03:12.

contests between them than not. Familiar feeling in her long career,

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but the nerves will still be in fading. It is championship point.

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There it is! CHEERING She moves onto 23 Grand Slam singles

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titles. Venus Williams beaten on the day,

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but she knows what an accomplishment that is by her little sister. She

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moves ahead of Steffi Graf. And to within one of the all-time record,

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held by Margarette Court. A lovely scene as the sisters embrace. They

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have competed against each other for so long, since the late 90s. So many

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great battles over the years. And yet, always sisters. Seven time

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Grand Slam champion and one half of the greatest sibling act in world

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sport, Venus Williams! CHEERING For the seven time champion here at

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Melbourne Park, and with it all back to number one in the world, ladies

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and gentlemen, our champion, the legendary Serena Williams! SUE

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BARKER: she will be presented with her check by the child who won a

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competition. The trophy will be presented by Hannah Manlicova..

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First, let's hear from Serena. I would like to take this moment to

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congratulate Venus. She's an amazing person. CHEERING

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There's no way I would be at 23 without her, there's no way I would

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be at one without her, she's the any reason I'm standing here today and

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the only reason the Williams sisters exist. Thank you, Venus, for

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inspiring me to be the best player that I could be and inspired me to

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work hard. Every time you won this week I felt like I'd got to win to

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say thank you so much. She deserves an incredible round of applause.

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She's made an amazing comeback. APPLAUSE

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I have to thank my team. I couldn't have done this week without you

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guys, Patrick you are the best. Life wouldn't be possible without them.

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Thank you to the crowd, you guys are stunning, amazing, beautiful. I love

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you, thank you. CHEERING SUE BARKER: some lovely words from

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Serena. The Williams sisters are an inspirational story with everything

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they've been through. Serena, 35 years old, still the dominant force

:08:29.:08:33.

in tennis. When Serena is informed not even her older sister can get

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close. John has joined me in the studio. When you think about where

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they came from, Richard the father throwing up the coaching manual,

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doing it his way and producing these incredible players. When Richard

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came on the scene, people thought that he was out of his mind, some of

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the things he said about, it saying he didn't want his daughters to play

:08:57.:09:00.

junior tennis. He said he wanted them to have other hobbies

:09:01.:09:05.

throughout their time, to take time off, do not play as much as other

:09:06.:09:09.

women. He did all the things that were against the manual, but he

:09:10.:09:12.

predicted they would both be number one and they were. From where they

:09:13.:09:16.

came from, it's the most staggering sports story in history. And the

:09:17.:09:22.

autoimmune disorder that Venus has, the blood clot Serena had to come

:09:23.:09:26.

back from and still have to take medication for, it shows their love

:09:27.:09:30.

and passion that the game that in their mid-30s they are still out

:09:31.:09:34.

there competing. You look at them on court and they don't look their age.

:09:35.:09:38.

They look like they could place the years. If they continue this love,

:09:39.:09:42.

and they keep wanting to train as hard as they do, I mean, Serena is

:09:43.:09:49.

unbeatable when she still wants to play. The Venus to come back and be

:09:50.:09:54.

in the final now, it's a remarkable story. When Serena is informed, no

:09:55.:09:58.

one can come close. She's got the power, the ability, the serve, the

:09:59.:10:04.

greatest of all time for me, her serve is. When she is informed she

:10:05.:10:08.

is unstoppable. No one can get through to her. They can't make her

:10:09.:10:12.

defend, she's always on the front foot. The service over big. The

:10:13.:10:18.

greatest love of all time. Her one to punch behind the serve, it's

:10:19.:10:22.

almost impossible to compete against that. Her return of serve is

:10:23.:10:26.

brilliant. The rest of the women in the draw, they know when she is on

:10:27.:10:30.

her best, the winner. There was a lovely moment as they walked off

:10:31.:10:35.

court, Serena went off with her bag and her trophy, walking up through

:10:36.:10:39.

this corridor of former champions. There's only six, they are going to

:10:40.:10:43.

put a 7-Up. That was a wonderful moment it shows what, Margaret

:10:44.:10:49.

Court, 24, you feel that Serena will overtake that. There's no reason she

:10:50.:10:57.

couldn't, she's so good. I could see how winning the Grand Slam this

:10:58.:11:02.

year. That is one of the amazing finals we've got in Melbourne this

:11:03.:11:07.

weekend. We've got Roger against Rafa tomorrow, that is something to

:11:08.:11:12.

look forward to. We didn't expect to see these two great champions. That

:11:13.:11:16.

is tomorrow. We'll have the highlights at 1pm on BBC Two. Hear

:11:17.:11:23.

it live at 8:30am. That's not all the tennis we've got coming up on

:11:24.:11:26.

the BBC. Starting next Friday it's the first round of the Davis Cup in

:11:27.:11:31.

which Britain are taking on Canada in Ottawa. Britain's chances are

:11:32.:11:35.

being boosted by the withdrawal of Milos Raonic with injury. That will

:11:36.:11:41.

start on Friday. They don't have another player in the top 100 so

:11:42.:11:44.

that puts Britain in the driving seat even without Andy. The tie is

:11:45.:11:50.

flipped. When Andy said he wasn't going to play, all of a sudden

:11:51.:11:54.

Canada becomes the favourite. Now Milos Raonic is out, Britain is the

:11:55.:11:59.

favourite with Dan Evans playing the way playing. The doubles is almost a

:12:00.:12:07.

lock with Jamie Murray and I do think the Canadians can get a rubber

:12:08.:12:11.

at it. I think we could clean sweep that match. Britain has some great

:12:12.:12:15.

players, singles and doubles. Tomorrow it's the match everyone has

:12:16.:12:19.

been dreaming about. Roger against Rafa. We thought it would be

:12:20.:12:24.

Djokovic against Murray but we have these two great champions who looked

:12:25.:12:27.

to be back to their best. Is staggering and another great story.

:12:28.:12:31.

If you talk to people around the world, they never dream these two

:12:32.:12:35.

would be in the final again. I don't know who's going to be the crowd

:12:36.:12:39.

favourite tomorrow, I suspect Roger Federer but not by a lot. Rafa has

:12:40.:12:44.

got an amazing story. Roger Federer Alpha six months, comes in and gets

:12:45.:12:49.

to the finals. Rafa, injuries all over the place. I thought that

:12:50.:12:55.

against Dimitrov he played some tennis we last saw three or four

:12:56.:12:59.

years ago. The only thing is, will that match have taken a lot out of

:13:00.:13:04.

him? Back then maybe not but getting to the finals for the first time in

:13:05.:13:08.

a long while and playing these matches back-to-back, maybe he'll be

:13:09.:13:13.

tired. That's 1pm on BBC Two tomorrow. Today saw Serena Williams

:13:14.:13:17.

collect another Grand Slam title and hate her place at the top of the

:13:18.:13:22.

world rankings. 23 titles and counting the Serena -- take her

:13:23.:13:25.

place at the top of the world rankings. 23 titles and counting for

:13:26.:13:36.

Serena. COMMENTATOR: She moves on to 23 Grand Slam singles titles.

:13:37.:13:37.