Serena Williams reveals toughest match she played against sister Venus

Serena and Venus Williams.
Serena Williams has revealed the toughest match she player against her sister Venus.

Serena Williams has revealed which of her matches against her older sister Venus was the toughest.

The pair played each other a staggering 31 times across a 22-year period, with the 23-time Grand Slam champion prevailing in 19 of those encounters.

And, speaking on Hot Ones, she revealed that her victory against her sister in the 2003 Australian Open final was the toughest of them all.

Serena entered that final looking to complete the Career Grand Slam and achieve a non-calendar Grand Slam, having beaten Venus in the preceding French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open finals in 2002.

The younger of the two sisters prevailed 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-4 to claim the first of her seven titles in Melbourne, and a fifth major singles title overall, but conceded it was a tough test mentally.

“The most intense, for me the most mentally was the Australian Open 2003,” she said.

“That final was so huge as it was the first time I could win four Grand Slam titles in a row, which would be dubbed as a ‘Serena Slam.’

“That was a tough match as she actually played really, really well and she should have won. I remember she missed a shot that she wouldn’t have missed in any other match, any other setting. I think I even looked at her across the side of the net, like: ‘How could you miss that.’

“I think from then, I won that set and she started to crumble a little bit. I could see that the focus or something had fell, even for a split second. That was like: ‘Oh, this is my chance to win.’

“You have to think as an athlete, but it was tough.”

Serena and Venus’ first-ever career meeting had actually come at the Australian Open five years previously in 1998, with Venus winning 7-6(4), 6-1 in round two on that occasion.

And they would meet again in the 2017 Australian Open final, Serena prevailing 6-4, 6-4 to win her 23rd – and final – Grand Slam singles title.

In total, they faced each other in nine Grand Slam singles finals, with Serena winning seven of those encounters.

Venus proved victorious in the 2001 US Open final, and the 2008 Wimbledon final, while Serena won the final match between the two in Lexington in 2020.

Serena announced her retirement from the sport at the 2022 US Open, while Venus is still an active WTA player, last playing in Indian Wells and Miami this spring.

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