MELBOURNE, Australia - Serena Williams is set to return to No.1 in the WTA rankings after winning her seventh Australian Open title, a 23rd Grand Slam title that breaks the Open Era record she hitherto shared with Stefanie Graf.
Despite the German's early exit, the American still needed to make history to take back the ranking she held for 186 consecutive weeks - a record she narrowly missed breaking and holds alongside Graf.
The feat came as a surprise to Serena, as she shared in her post-match press.
"in the beginning of the tournament, I was like, 'If I win, will I be No. 1?'
"[My coach Patrick Mouratoglou] said, 'No, no, no.
"I was like, Whatever.
"So, today on the court when they were like, 'And No. 1,' I was like, 'Whoa, really?'"
As for Venus, the five-time Wimbledon champion will move up to No.11, with a return to the Top 10 for the first time since last fall firmly in sight.
"I feel motivated to continue, to continue to go out there and hit the ball the way I know I can," Venus said. "There's only things I can improve on, to be honest, and to build on.
"I feel I played very well this week, pulled a lot of things out of my pocket. I got more stuff in my pocket. Get it out."
Billie Jean King congratulated Serena on returning to No.1 on Twitter: