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Record 23 at 35 for better than ever Serena

By Tom Allnutt

Serena Williams believes she is playing the best tennis of her entire career after her Australian Open womens singles win on Saturday morning.

Williams overcame her sister Venus 6-4 6-4 to claim her seventh Melbourne crown and secure an Open-era record 23rd grand slam title. It means she moves above Steffi Graf in the all-time list and now stands just one short of Margaret Court's unmatched 24.

The 35-year-old shows no sign of slowing. She has won 10 major titles since turning 30 and has made eight out of the last grand slam 10 finals and believes she is in the form of her life.

"I was thinking yesterday on the practice court, 'gosh I'm playing better than I have ever before I think'," Williams said.

"I'm moving better, I've always been a fast mover but I stopped moving a bit in the middle of my career because I was like, I don't have to move so much.

"But I was like, 'man I'm hitting really well'. It feels good to be playing this well at the moment."

By her own high standards, 2016 represented a disappointing season for Williams.

The American only added a Wimbledon title to her tally and also surrendered the world number one spot to Angelique Kerber after a shock US Open defeat to Karolina Pliskova.

"Winning this one was very important," Williams' coach Patrick Mouratoglou said.

"I feel when you end the season with a loss, especially in a grand slam, you cannot feel the same way and cannot have a good feeling."

Belfast Telegraph

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