The older Williams sister, Venus, a seven-time Grand Slam champion, is back into another final at this year’s Australian Open. The 36-year old managed to win a difficult match against fellow American Coco Vandeweghe, score 6-7 (3-7), 6-2, 6-3. Venus reached her first major final since 2009’s Wimbledon and it is only normal for her to be extremely happy. She rarely manifests herself, but this time she could not help it. She threw her racket in the air and her arms too, in celebration of a historic moment for her entire career. Who will join her in the final? Little sister Serena Williams, who stopped the beautiful dream of Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.
The second coming of Venus Williams
Venus is not known for being emotional during matches or after them. Neither is her sister. However, this time, she shed a few tears after the match ended, during her on-court interview. The older Williams sister said that moments like these are what makes an athlete go on and remember why they started this journey in the first place. She also said that she would like to continue, even at 36, because she does not know how to do anything better than play tennis.
Venus’s battle with the autoimmune disease called Sjogren’s Syndrome is known by every tennis fan. She received this diagnosis back in 2011. She is still taking a treatment in order to keep the illness under control. So, the fact that she managed to achieve such a result given the circumstances is truly impressive and worthy of respect. As for the fact that she will play against her sister on Saturday’s final, Venus says that she could not want more. Serena is a 22-time Grand Slam champion, so to play against her will truly be amazing for Venus.
Mirjana’s story and Serena’s 23rd Slam
Serena Williams, the current world no. 2 player in the world (she will take back the no. 1 spot if she wins the title), reached the final of Australian Open by ending one of the most beautiful stories of this year. Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, the no. 79 Croatian player, reached a Grand Slam semi-final after 18 years of waiting and struggling. The 34-year old has an impressive story which she said will tell everyone at one point. From what is known to the world, Mirjana ran from Croatia to Florida along with her mother and four siblings in order to get away from their abusive father and coach. At that time, he was reportedly physically and emotionally abusing Mirjana because he wished for her to become no. 1. Moreover, he was also accused of stealing his daughter’s prize money when she was younger.
She even gave up playing tennis from 2004 to 2006, before returning in 2007. From U.S. Open 2002 until Wimbledon 2010, she did not appear in the main draw of a Grand Slam. This year, she managed to reach the semi-finals. Even if Serena stopped her dream, it was enough for the Croatian to be reborn like a Phoenix. Maybe from now on we will see her more frequently in the final stages of the big tournaments. Until then, we will have to see what is going to happen in Saturday’s final and if this Australian Open will mark Serena’s 23rd Grand Slam victory.
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