This week in the searing heat on the courts of Melbourne, we have witnessed the return of the William sisters to the top of world tennis. On Friday January 30, Venus and Serena Williams crushed the pair of Daniela Hantuchova and Ai Sugiyama. in straight sets 6-3, 6-3, to capture the women's doubles crown in this year's Australian Open Tennis Championship. Playing as the No.10 seeds in this tournament, the Williams sisters collected their third Australian Open - and eighth Grand Slam together - with a convincing win over the hard fighting Slovako-Japanese partnership who had knocked out the Tournament No.1 seeds (and World No.1) in the women's doubles, Cara Black and Liezel Huber in the quarter-finals . Mind you, Serena and Venus were also the women's doubles champions at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
On Saturday January 31st, Serena crushed Dinara Safina of Russia 6-0, 6-3 to regain the Women's singles title which she has now won in every odd numbered year since 2003. She had earlier, in the semi-finals, defeated Elena Dementieva, the 2008 Olympic singles champion. She joins Margaret Court, Evonne Goolagong Cawley, Steffi Graf and Monica Seles as four-time winners at Melbourne Park.
The first set of the final match against Dinara Safina lasted only 22 minutes, with Safina winning just eight points. And in just 58 minutes the match was over. During her speech after the end of the match, Dinara acknowledged Serena's absolute superiority in very clear terms. “She was just too good. I was just a ball boy on the court today.” Serena gave poor Dinara a lesson to remember in tennis. Serena was graceful in victory, hear her, "Dinara will have a great future - she is hitting so hard I just had to go for broke against her."
By this victory, Serena has regained the No. 1 position in the WTA rankings that will be announced on Monday February 2. She last enjoyed this position in 2002. Furthermore, according to the Guardian of London, she is now the highest prize money earner in women's sport with over £15m to her name. To add to the bargain, this victory marks her Grand Slam title No. 10 and Serena Williams has now clinched the seventh position in the all-time list of female Grand Slam singles champions (Billie-Jean King (12), Chris Evert (18), Martina Navratilova (18), Helen Wills Moody (19), Steffi Graf (22) and Margaret Court (24). Serena has joined that elite club of tennis queens. May her new reign last a long while!!