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Category: Australian Open

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‘Serena will be back’: Australian Open director backs Williams’ return

  • Seven-times Melbourne Park champion gave birth in September
  • 2018 winners will pocket $4m each with an overall 10% pay increase

New mother Serena Williams will be chasing a record $4m in prize money when she returns to defend her Australian Open crown in January. Tournament director Craig Tiley announced on Tuesday that Williams, who gave birth to a daughter in September, would be back in Melbourne for the tournament in January.

“Serena will be back,” Tiley said. “We look forward to welcoming her and again go on that journey of breaking the all-time record for the most number of grand slams.”

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Serena Williams shares first photos of daughter Alexis Olympia

In a video welcoming her first child, the singles champion who won 23 grand slams says there were ‘a lot of complications’

Serena Williams has released the first images of her newborn daughter Alexis.

The 23-time grand slam singles champion gave birth on 1 September, and announced on Wednesday that she and her fiance, Alexis Ohanian, have named their daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.

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‘I’m black so I look mean?’ Serena Williams discusses race and pregnancy

  • Former world No1 says she wants to return for Australian Open
  • 23-time grand slam champion says she has been judged due to race

Serena Williams has spoken about pregnancy, race and body image in a wide-ranging interview with Vogue.

Williams and her fiance, the Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, are due to welcome their first child at the end of the year, but she says she wants to return as early as January to defend her Australian Open title. “It’s the most outrageous plan,” she said. “I just want to put that out there. That’s, like, three months after I give birth. I’m not walking anything back, but I’m just saying it’s pretty intense.”

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John McEnroe: Serena Williams would be 700th on men’s tour – audio

John McEnroe dismissed suggestions that Serena Williams was the best player in the world, arguing that she would ‘be like 700 in the world” if she played on the men’s tour. His comments came during an interview on NPR on Sunday when he was promoting his new memoir. Williams has won 23 grand slam singles titles over the course of her career, the most recent coming at the Australian Open in 2017 when she was already pregnant with her first child.

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‘The greatest of greats’: Margaret Court’s name should remain on arena, says PM

Malcolm Turnbull says former player’s tennis achievements should still be recognised despite her boycott of Qantas over airline’s support of gay marriage

Margaret Court is one of tennis’ “greatest greats” and the arena named after her should recognise that, not her opposition to gay marriage, the prime minister says.

Related: Margaret Court vows to stop flying Qantas over marriage equality stance

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Wimbledon to increase prize pot to compensate for weak pound

All England Club seeks to counter sterling’s fall in value following Brexit vote

Wimbledon will announce a steep rise in prize money for this year’s tennis champions as the tournament seeks to counter the pound’s fall in value following the Brexit vote, reports suggest.

Related: Weak pound melts the British dream of a place in the sun

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Roger Federer on his ‘epic’ Australian Open triumph over Rafael Nadal – video

Roger Federer speaks to the media about defeating his old foe Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open final. The Swiss player clinched his 18th grand slam title in a five-set classic at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne on Sunday night. Federer told reporters that it ‘was all about the comeback’ and said he was pleased ‘I can do it at my age after not winning a slam for five years’. At 35, Federer is the second-oldest man behind Ken Rosewall to win a major singles trophy

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Roger Federer v Rafael Nadal: Australian Open men’s final – live!

7.54am GMT

Some pre-match reading: Kevin Mitchell’s wonderful preview.

Related: Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal roll back years for unexpected encore

12.14pm GMT

Hello readers. Hello nostalgia. The Williams sisters in the women’s final yesterday, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the men’s final today. Can it really be 2017? The answer is yes and before you ask, yes, 2016 did happen – all of it. Nor have you hopped in a time machine and travelled back to 2008, when things were so much simpler and all we had to worry about was a global financial crisis, which rather seems like small potatoes in comparison to the state of things now. But still, there’s always sport. And sport doesn’t get much better than Federer and Nadal.

Time waits for no man or woman, not even these two remarkable athletes. That harsh reality has been hammered home to both of them with gnawing regularity in recent years, sometimes with a little too much force, and few people thought we’d be about to witness this Australian Open final when the tennis season drew to a close last year. The days when it came as a surprise not to see one or both of Federer and Nadal competing in a grand slam final became a thing of the past a while ago. Injuries have plagued both of them, while younger bucks have been impertinent enough to overtake them. Novak Djokovic ruled tennis for what felt like an eternity; now Andy Murray is the world No1. Stan Wawrinka has three grand slams. The sport waits for the next batch of stars to emerge – the likes of Alex Zverev, Nick Kyrgios and Dominic Thiem.

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Australian Open 2017: day 13 – women’s singles final – in pictures

All the best images from the Rod Laver Arena where, for the ninth time the Williams sisters – Serena and Venus – battled it out in a grand slam final. Serena was going for her seventh Australian Open title and a record 23rd grand slam victory whilst her older sister Venus was aiming for her second Australia Open title and her eighth grand slam

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Australian Open: Serena Williams beats sister Venus for record 23rd slam title

• Serena Williams beats Venus Williams 6-4, 6-4 at Melbourne Park
• Seventh Australian Open title secures open-era record for Serena

Serena Williams is the most prolific grand slam winner of the open era in women’s tennis after claiming her 23rd major singles title with a 6-4, 6-4 win over her sister Venus at Rod Laver Arena on Saturday. This triumph also made Serena a seven-time winner of the Australian Open, while Venus had to be content with offering a reminder that her own greatness remains very much in the present tense.

Whatever the result of this finale a record was going to tumble. Venus – 36 years old, nine years on from her last grand slam triumph and playing in her 73rd major tournament – stood a chance of becoming the oldest champion of the open era. The woman who remains the record-holder now? Well, Serena, of course.

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Serena Williams v Venus Williams: Australian Open women’s final – live!

The Williams sisters meet in their first grand slam final since Wimbledon 2009 – when Serena won in straight sets. Follow it live with Bryan Armen Graham

2.43pm GMT

Bryan will be here shortly. In the meantime, read about the ultimate American folk tale:

The story reads like a tall tale, no matter how many times it’s repeated – too incredible to be true and growing only more preposterous with each passing year.

Related: Venus and Serena Williams create a new chapter in this remarkable family story

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Serena Williams v Venus Williams: Australian Open women’s final – live!

The Williams sisters meet in their first grand slam final since Wimbledon 2009 – when Serena won in straight sets. Follow it live with Bryan Armen Graham

2.43pm GMT

Bryan will be here shortly. In the meantime, read about the ultimate American folk tale:

The story reads like a tall tale, no matter how many times it’s repeated – too incredible to be true and growing only more preposterous with each passing year.

Related: Venus and Serena Williams create a new chapter in this remarkable family story

Continue reading…

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Australian Open: Rafael Nadal to face Federer in final after beating Dimitrov

• Nadal overcomes Grigor Dimitrov in mammoth five-set semi-final
• Spaniard will take on Federer in ninth major final between pair

Rafael Nadal beat Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 5-7, 7-6, 6-7, 6-4 to reach the final of the Australian Open, where the Spaniard will face Roger Federer on Sunday. Nadal eventually overcame Dimitrov over five sets and almost five hours of tennis. It is the first time Nadal, the world No9 seed, has reached a major final since 2014.

The 30-year-old overcame tournament favourite Milos Raonic in the quarter-finals after beating Gaël Monfils in the fourth round, before victory over Dimitrov.

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Australian Open: Rafael Nadal to face Federer in final after beating Dimitrov

• Nadal overcomes Grigor Dimitrov in mammoth five-set semi-final
• Spaniard will take on Federer in ninth major final between pair

Rafael Nadal beat Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 5-7, 7-6, 6-7, 6-4 to reach the final of the Australian Open, where the Spaniard will face Roger Federer on Sunday. Nadal eventually overcame Dimitrov over five sets and almost five hours of tennis. It is the first time Nadal, the world No9 seed, has reached a major final since 2014.

The 30-year-old overcame tournament favourite Milos Raonic in the quarter-finals after beating Gaël Monfils in the fourth round, before victory over Dimitrov.

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Rafael Nadal v Grigor Dimitrov: Australian Open semi-final – live!

12.02pm GMT

Hello. In order to reach a first grand slam final against Roger Federer in almost six years, first Rafael Nadal has to get past the man once known as Baby Fed. No one calls Grigor Dimitrov that nickname any more, of course, not after a couple of years that rather made a mockery of the widely held notion that he was the next Federer, but there are signs that the Bulgarian is returning to the form that once saw him hailed as the rising star of the men’s game. Back in a grand slam semi-final for the first time since Wimbledon 2014, when his smooth, easy style made it seem that it was only a matter of time before he won his first major, Dimitrov has capitalised on Novak Djokovic’s early exit – the world No2 was due to face him in the fourth round before losing to Denis Istomin – by showing signs that he is knuckling down and making the most of his undoubted potential. The 25-year-old has started the year positively. He’s one to watch again.

Now it gets tough, however, because having returned to full fitness after that troublesome wrist injury, Nadal is in the sort of bloodthirsty mood that filled his opponents with dread when he was in his pomp. Where once there was only gloom, as though he was carrying the weight of the world on shoulders whenever he stepped on court, now the Spaniard looks light, free and happy again. The monstrous forehand’s back and so’s the inspiration. Suffice to say, the hunger never went away. But it was a long way back for Nadal, whose struggles in the past few years has seen him slip down the rankings, all the way to the relative ignominy of No9 in the world. It has been almost three years since his last appearance in the last four of a slam. Yet giving up or drifting away into obscurity is anathema to Nadal. His comprehensive quarter-final win over Milos Raonic, the world No3, underlined his renewed threat and it will take an almighty effort from Dimitrov to stop him now. Only a brave man would dare stand in his way.

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Resurgent Roger Federer defies age and expectations to dazzle Australia | Kevin Mitchell

The Swiss will rarely have had to fight harder than he did to subdue Stan Wawrinka in the Australian Open semi-final and become the oldest man to reach a grand slam final since 1974, yet he did so with grace and panache

It was as nailed-on that there would be a Swiss player in the men’s final of the 2017 Australian Open on Sunday as it was that an American would win the women’s title on Saturday. The odds that their combined ages would be at least 70 were a little tougher to see at the start of the fortnight but it crystallized into stunning reality here on the 11th day of a tournament that has had more twists than the Melbourne Grand Prix.

A few hours after Serena Williams, 35, joined her 36-year-old sister, Venus, in the women’s final by trouncing the 34-year-old Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, Federer, 35, somehow conjured some more retro magic to beat Stan Wawrinka, a mere 31, for the 19th time in 22 matches. His bete noire, Rafael Nadal, plays Grigor Dimitrov, his young doppelganger, in the second semi-final on Friday.

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Roger Federer into Australian Open final after beating Stan Wawrinka – video

Roger Federer is through to his 28th Grand Slam final after beating compatriot Stan Wawrinka in a five-set thriller at the Australian Open on Thursday. Federer is looking to win an 18th major title and will face either Rafael Nadal or Grigor Dimitrov in Sunday’s final in Melbourne

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Roger Federer beats Stan Wawrinka to reach Australian Open final

World No17 triumphed after three-hour, five-set thrillerTitle holder came from two sets down to ensure tight finish Roger Federer will compete for his 18th grand slam singles title after defeating countryman Stan Wawrinka in a gripping five-set Austral…

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Roger Federer v Stan Wawrinka: Australian Open semi-final – live!

8.12am GMT

While we wait, here’s Kevin Mitchell’s report on the Williams sisters both reaching the women’s final. What a story!

Related: Venus Williams’ fairytale run continues as she books final date with Serena

8.11am GMT

The nagging concern for Wawrinka is that Federer leads their head-to-head 18-3. All of Wawrinka’s wins came on clay. He’s never beaten Federer on a hard court and lost 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 when they met in the US Open semi-final in 2015. History, as you’d expect, is on Federer’s side.

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Mirjana Lu?i?-Baroni v Serena Williams: Australian Open semi-final – live!

7.02am GMT

Serena Williams defeats Mirjana Lučić-Baroni 6-2, 6-1

With one final break of serve Serena Williams has booked herself an Australian Open final date against her sister Venus, a quite remarkable turn of events. Serena won this won 6-2, 6-1 in just 50 minutes of almost faultless tennis, breaking one final time to seal it and just blowing her opponent away. This was not even remotely competitive, and if she maintains this relentless form it’s going to be one hell of a job for her sister in the final.

6.57am GMT

2nd set: Mirjana Lučić-Baroni* 1-5 Serena Williams (*denotes next server)

It’s not an outright procession here as Williams heaves an emphatic backhand winner but then double-faults to make it 30-30. The half-chance is snuffed out with another forceful backhand, which almost knocks Lucic-Baroni’s racket out of her hand, and then a quite remarkable rally in which Williams is outgunned and out-positioned, but still recovers to hammer a forehand winner. She’s simply too good. Venus might be in for a rough time in the final.

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