Venus Williams had nothing but praise for her younger sister Serena Williams after their Australian Open battle, and is taking only positives from her run to the final.
WTA Staff

MELBOURNE, Australia - Two-time Australian Open finalist Venus Williams is taking nothing but positives from her run to this year's Melbourne final, and with good reason.

It was her first major final since 2009 Wimbledon where, just like today, she faced off against her younger sister. And she did it without dropping a set until the semifinals.

"It was great to have an opportunity to play for the title," Venus enthused in her post-match press conference. "That's exactly where I want to be standing during these Grand Slams, is on finals day, having an opportunity. That's the highlight of all this, is to be in that moment."

Standing across the net from Venus and a potential first Grand Slam title in nine years was a familiar opponent: younger sister Serena Williams.

But after facing each other 27 times in the pair's historic rivalry - eight times in a Grand Slam - there were no hard feelings after the defeat as Serena took home a record-breaking 23rd major title.

"No, because I guess I've been here before, you know," Venus explained. "I really enjoy seeing the name 'Williams' on the trophy. This is a beautiful thing.

"Serena's been in a lot of finals, but I haven't been able to be there as much as she has. To have this opportunity to play against each other again, and to be able to rise to that occasion, was quite momentous."

She added, "I'm very happy that she's been able to get to number 23 because there's 22 ahead of that that she also earned, and she earned it."

At the Australian Open last year, Venus fell in the first round to eventual semifinalist Johanna Konta, as she struggled with her form and injury. She admitted earlier in this tournament that she came to Melbourne with doubts, especially following a second-round withdrawal from the ASB Classic in Auckland.

But with this run to the final - where she didn't lose a set until the semifinals - the seven-time Grand Slam champion has plenty of build on for the rest of 2017.

"It's a great start to the year. I'm looking forward to the rest of year. This is like, tournament number two and it's already a lot of work. I'm looking forward to tournament number three and four. It's going to be awesome.

"I'm ready to kill it this year. That's my goal."