Australian Open 2017, Day 13, as it happened: Serena Williams clinches 23, Kontinen/Peers win men's doubles title

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Australian Open 2017, Day 13, as it happened: Serena Williams clinches 23, Kontinen/Peers win men's doubles title
  • 18:16 (IST)

    Thank you so much for following our live blog today.

    Make sure you tune in tomorrow for the one of the most highly anticipated finals in a long time - Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal.

    India's Sania Mirza will also be in action for a trophy - her mixed doubles match starts at 10:30 AM IST. 

  • 17:50 (IST)

    Order of play on centre court at the Australian Open on Sunday (x denotes seeding):

    Rod Laver Arena

    10:30 AM IST (0500 GMT)

    Abigail Spears (USA)/Juan Sebastian Cabal (COL) v Sania Mirza (IND)/Ivan Dodig (CRO x2)

    02:00 PM IST

    Roger Federer (SUI x17) v Rafael Nadal (ESP x9)

  • 17:46 (IST)

    Before we sign off, here's our favourite moment from the day!

  • 17:44 (IST)

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    Did you know: This is the second Grand Slam title for Henri Kontinen, who won Wimbledon 2016 with Heather Watson

  • 17:39 (IST)

  • 17:38 (IST)

    Here's the winning moment 

  • 17:37 (IST)

    ​Kontinen-Peers continue their red hot form 

    At the end of 2016, the pair won the last 2 trophies – the Masters 1000 at Paris and the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London.
    They carry their form to 2017 as the beat one of the strongest doubles team in tennis history. 
    John Peers is a local boy from Melbourne and his win with Henri Kontinen is met with a loud cheer in the Rod Laver Arena. 
    Mike and Bob Bryan, who were thoroughly outplayed in the final, will rue their missed chances. 

  • 17:34 (IST)

  • 17:33 (IST)

    Kontinen-Peers win their first Grand Slam!

    The Bryan brothers were serving to stay in the match and they ended up giving 2 championship points to the #4 seeds.
    Henri Kontinen and John Peers make no mistake and win their first major as a team 7-5 7-5.

  • 17:31 (IST)

  • 17:30 (IST)

    Kontinen-Peers take it 6-5 and the Bryan brothers are serving to stay in the match. 

  • 17:22 (IST)

    Kontinen-Peers return the favour with a speedy 40-0 game and lead the set 5-4. 

  • 17:21 (IST)

    Bryan brothers race away in their game and take it 40-0 to level the set 4-4. 

  • 17:19 (IST)

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    An angled shot gives Bryans the first point in the game but fourth seeds Kontinen-Peers are all over the court with their returns and take it to 40-15 and they hold comfortably at 4-3.
    Neither team has been able break the other and we may well be heading towards a tiebreak in the second set. 

  • 17:15 (IST)

    Another cracking backhand from Kontinen gives the them the first point.
    Another sparring session at the net evens it at 15-15.
    But a strong service game by Bob gives the Bryans the game to draw level at 3-3. 

  • 17:13 (IST)

    More sharp aces and an intelligent service game by Peers gives them the first game and the lead in the 3-2. 

  • 17:10 (IST)

    Kontinen-Peers continues his exemplary pick up shots as the Bryans continue their precariously close to the body smashes.
    The second serve is much better form the Bryans as they take the game to level set with 2-2. 

  • 17:07 (IST)

  • 17:07 (IST)

    Kontinen-Peers back at it with their outsmarting returns and crushing smashes, take a quick 30-0 lead.
    A wonderful pickup by Kontinen, is followed by a well placed volley that looks like giving us another eye-catching rally, but an unforced error gives the #4 seeds a 2-1 lead in the second set. 

  • 17:03 (IST)

    What a rally to start!

    A thrilling crosscourt rally follows and Bryans take a 30-0 lead before Kontinen-Peers outwit Mike with a smash.
    The second serve brings another shot-studded rally which is defined by an unlucky netcord point. 
    Another netcord hindrance gives Bryans the game, and this might prove to be a crucial hold in the match. 

  • 16:59 (IST)

    Kontinen-Peers maybe in their first major final, but they are playing an intelligent game against the veteran Bryan brothers.
    They race to a lead with a crisp ace and more clever points at the net and take the first game of the second set.

  • 16:57 (IST)

  • 16:55 (IST)

    Kontinen-Peers take first set

    Mike Bryan's serve gets a sharp return down the line and the start and the #3 seeds are relentless in their search for a break.
    A terrific game at the net gives Kontinen-Peers 2 setpoints and they capture the opening set 7-5 in 37 minutes 

  • 16:51 (IST)

  • 16:51 (IST)

    Kontinen-Peers race away to a 40-0 lead on serve and comfortably seal the game to take the first set to 6-5. 

  • 16:49 (IST)

    A big service game gives the Bryan brother an early lead but a stunning backhand return brings Kontinen-Peers back in the game and draw level at 30-30.
    A wayward volley helps Bryans nose ahead and a smash at net - after an unsuccessful by the #4 seeds - gives Bryans the game and takes the first set ot 5-5. 

  • 16:45 (IST)

    A 201 kmph peers serve gives them the first points, which is followed by a stunning contest at the net which is just missed by Bob and he hits the next one out to give away 40-0 lead.
    The Bryan brothers pull back to make it 30-40 but a thundering set closes the game to give the #3 seeds 5-4 lead in the first set. 

  • 16:42 (IST)

    A terrific return down the line gives the #4 seeds the first point on Mike Bryan's serve.
    The netpoints in this set keep getting better as a low volley seals a point for the brothers, but another sharp Kontinen-Peers return levels the score at 30-30.
    Mike serves one at 195 that is shot wayward and the game is sealed by another outside shot levelling the set at 4-4-. 

  • 16:38 (IST)

    Kontinen induces an error from the brothers as they race to a lead on serve.
    A clever play at the net gives them a 40-0 lead and a sharp chip gives them a 4-3 lead in the first set. 

  • 16:36 (IST)

    3-3 in Set 1 

    Much better service game from Bob Bryan as they brothers run through the game with a couple of intelligent shots.
    The first set is level at 3-3

  • 16:32 (IST)

    Peers' serve makes it 3-2

    Peers starts off with an ace and follows it with another thundering down to take a 30-0 lead quickly.
    But they miss a couple of close volley next to level at 30-30.
    Another crisp ace gives the lead and they take the game with a powerful smash. 3-2 in the first set 

  • 16:30 (IST)

    First set level at 2-2

    Mike Bryan is one the money with a serve as a pointed smash gives them an early 30-0 lead, but they drive one in the net.
    Another smash gives them the game as the set is levelled at 2-2

  • 16:27 (IST)

    Bryan brothers break back!

    A double fault by Kontinen helps the former champs seal their breakpoint as the first set stands 1-2

  • 16:24 (IST)

    Kontinen-Peers break early

    They #4 seeds have taken the a 2-0 lead in the first set over the Bryan brothers 

  • 16:19 (IST)

    Time for the men's doubles final now!

    4th seeds Henri Kontinen (FIN)/John Peers (AUS) vs 3rd seeds Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan (USA)

  • 16:18 (IST)

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    Serena's Air Jordans with the magic number 23

  • 16:14 (IST)

    Another stat comparison:

    Of Steffi Graf’s 22 singles Slams, none were won in her 30s.

    Of Serena Williams’ 23 singles Slams, 10 were won in her 30s.

  • 16:06 (IST)

    That's a lot of silverware!

  • 16:05 (IST)

    Serena Williams pointing to the blank space under her name on the Walk of Champions

  • 16:01 (IST)

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    Serena to Venus: "There's no way I would be at 23 without her. There's no way I would be at 1 without her ... she's my inspiration."

  • 16:00 (IST)

    Serena Williams is back to World No 1!

  • 15:55 (IST)

    This was a beautiful end to a record-making tournament!

  • 15:45 (IST)

    What a gracious runner-up's speech from Venus!

    "Your win has always been my win" - Venus to Serena in the post-match winning presentation.

    "Serena Williams - that's my little sister! Congrats on 23, you mean the world to me!" 

  • 15:43 (IST)

    With her 23rd Grand Slam title, Serena Williams regains the World No 1 ranking!

    This is Serena's SEVENTH Grand Slam title at the Australian Open and she won it without dropping a set. 

  • 15:41 (IST)

    Serena Williams' 23 Grand Sam titles:

    Australian Open - 7

    French Open - 3

    Wimbledon - 7

    US Open - 6

  • 15:38 (IST)

    This hug at the net was everything!

Preview: An Australian Open electrified by the revivals of seasoned champions will bathe in the warm glow of nostalgia on Saturday when the Williams sisters contest the women's final at Rod Laver Arena.

Melbourne Park was where Venus and Serena Williams first clashed in a tour match in 1998 and nearly 20 years on, the Americans will add another chapter to tennis's greatest sibling rivalry.

In 1998, they were teenagers with cornrows and coloured beads in their hair sharing in an awkward second round encounter that 17-year-old Venus won in two sets.

Venus hugged her sister, younger by a year, at the net and apologised for having to "take (her) out".

 Australian Open 2017, Day 13, as it happened: Serena Williams clinches 23, Kontinen/Peers win mens doubles title

Serena and Venus Williams meet for the 28th time in their career on Saturday. AP

On Saturday, 35-year-old Serena will bid for a record 23rd grand slam title in the professional era while Venus will strive for her eighth, and first in almost nine years.

Serena drew level with Germany's Steffi Graff on 22 when she claimed her seventh Wimbledon title last year but her crowning moment was delayed when, as top seed, she was upset in the U.S. Open semi-finals by Czech Karolina Pliskova.

Serena no longer cares to talk about the record and stiffened when asked about it after her semi-final victory over Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, as if the weight of such an achievement might prove too heavy.

But a seventh title at Melbourne Park would add further credit to Serena's claim as the greatest of all time, despite being one short of Australia's Margaret Court, whose 24 major titles were split between the amateur and professional eras.

For 13th seed Venus, her first grand slam final in eight years is already a stunning victory of perseverance in the face of her struggles to manage Sjogren's syndrome, an auto-immune disease that causes fatigue and joint pain.

Both players stormed into the semi-finals without a set dropped.

However, where Serena romped into the final with a 50-minute demolition of Lucic-Baroni, Venus needed to summon her peerless experience to fend off feisty fellow American Coco Vandeweghe in three sets.

Saturday's final will be the Williams sisters ninth at a grand slam and their first since Wimbledon in 2009, where Serena won in two sets.

Rivalry Shaped Game

As tempting as it may be, to see the Melbourne Park decider as a last flickering of a rivalry that shaped the women's game for a decade may be premature.

Eras have come and gone but Serena has never left the stage, winning nine grand slam titles since turning 30.

Venus spent four years in the wilderness from 2011-14, a period in which she was unable to surpass a fourth round at any of the majors.

But since a drought-breaking quarter-final at the 2015 Australian Open, Venus has risen again.

It took her sister to end her run at Wimbledon in the fourth round that year and again at the U.S. Open in the quarter-finals a few months later.

Her semi-final run at Wimbledon last year was further evidence that Venus still has the hunger and the game to trouble the best.

"I think people realise this is an amazing job, so it's best to keep it," she said of her longevity.

Whether she can still beat the best will be decided on Saturday, where she will bid for her first Australian Open title, 14 years after her only other final at Melbourne Park ended in a three-set loss to her sister.

Serena, who holds a 16-11 winning record over Venus over their careers and leads 6-2 in the grand slam finals, is favourite to win but knows better than to underestimate her sister's competitive spirit.

"She's my toughest opponent -- nobody has ever beaten me as much as Venus has," she said.

"This is a story. This is something that I couldn't write a better ending. This is a great opportunity for us to start our new beginning."

Order of play on centre court at the Australian Open on Saturday (x denotes seeding):

Rod Laver Arena

2:00 PM IST (0830 GMT)

Venus Williams (USA x13) v Serena Williams (USA x2)

Henri Kontinen (FIN)/John Peers (AUS x4) v Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan (USA x3)

Updated Date: Jan 28, 2017 19:12:34 IST