Serena – Venus XXVIII at Australian Open Championship Late Friday

Tennis

Serena – Venus XXVIII at Australian Open Championship Late Friday

  • Serena Seeks 23rd Major Title to Break Open Era Record
  • Younger Williams Sister Leads Matchup 16-11, 6-2 in Major Finals
  • First Major Final for Venus since 2009; Combined Age of 71 the Oldest in a Major Final in Open Era
  • Nadal vs. Dimitrov Semifinal Tonight; Winner Faces Federer in Men’s Championship

A Williams Sister will win the Australian Open Women’s Championship on ESPN late Friday, Jan. 27, at 3 a.m. ET (midnight PT)  in the 28th meeting between No. 2 seed Serena, 35, and No. 13 seed Venus, 36, the oldest matchup in a Major final in the Open Era.  The duo have a combined 29 Major titles between them – 22 for Serena (six down under) as she seeks a new Open Era record, one she currently shares with Steffi Graf (many of Margaret Court’s 24 came before 1968).  A win would be Venus’ eighth Major crown (her seven is second among active players) but first since the 2008 Wimbledon where she defeated her sister.  An encore presentation of the match will be seen on ESPN2 on Saturday, Jan. 28, at 9 a.m. and on ESPN Classic that evening at 6, 8 and 10 p.m.

The two – born just 15 months apart – have faced each other 27 times as professionals, with Serena winning 16, including seven of the most recent eight and six of eight Major finals.  They are 1-1 in Melbourne; Venus won in the second round of 1998 in their first-ever pro meeting while Serena took the 2003 championship in three sets to complete the “Serena Slam.”  (That match will be seen on ESPN Classic on Friday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m.)  It is their only previous meeting in the Australian Open final.   Venus, who has not reached a Major final since Wimbledon 2009 (losing to Serena) is the oldest women’s finalist since Martina Navratilova at Wimbledon in 1994 (37).

Second Men’s Semifinal Tonight, Nadal or Dimitrov to Face Federer
Bryan Brothers in Men’s Doubles Final Saturday Night on WatchESPN

The second men’s semifinal will be live on ESPN tonight, late Thursday at 3:30 a.m., with No. 9 Rafael Nadal facing No. 15 Grigor Dimitrov.  The winner will face Roger Federer – who at 35 and after taking the second half of 2016 off to recuperate a knee injury – is in his 28th Major final, having won a record 17.  The men’s championship will be live on ESPN late Saturday, Jan. 28, at 3 a.m. (encore on ESPN2 at 9 a.m. Sunday).

  • Nadal’s 14 Major trophies include the 2009 Australian Open. Widely regarded the best clay-court player in history, the 30-year old Spaniard last reached a Major final at the 2014 French Open, winning his record ninth title in Paris.
  • The previous best at a Major for the 25-year old from Bulgaria was reaching the semifinals of Wimbledon in 2014. He has been on the radar of tennis fans since winning the boys’ title at both Wimbledon and the US Open in 2008.

Afterthe Women’s Singles Championship, Saturday at 5:30 a.m. the Men’s Doubles Championship will be on WatchESPN and the Bryan Brothers of California – the most accomplished male duo of all time with 16 Major titles – will play Henri Kontinen of Finland and John Peers of Australia.  Bob and Mike Bryan, 38-year old lefty/righty twins, have taken the title in Melbourne six times.  They have not won a Major since the 2014 US Open.

All Courts on WatchESPN
In addition to all of ESPN’s linear networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, etc.), WatchESPN has every match from every court at the Australian Open, including the men’s, women’s and mixed doubles, the boys and girls divisions and the legends and wheelchair competitions through the championships.

TALE OF THE SISTERS’ TAPE

No. 2 Seed SERENA                                                         No. 13 Seed VENUS

Age / DOB
35

Sept. 26, 1981

36

June 17, 1980

Birthplace
Saginaw, MI, USA Lynwood, CA, USA
Height
5′ 9″ (1.75 m) 6′ 1″ (1.85 m)
Marital Status
Engaged Single
Pro Status
Pro (September 1995) Pro (October 31, 1994)
Weeks / Times Ranked No. 1
309 / 6 11 / 3
Career Won/Lost
776 – 130 738 – 208
YTD Won/Lost
1 – 1 1 – 0
Career Titles
71 49
YTD Titles
0 0
Head to Head:  Overall / Australian Open / Hard Courts

16-11 / 1-1 / 11-8

Head to Head:  Finals / Major Finals / Australian Open Finals

8-3 / 6-2 / 1-0

Career Record, Major Finals
22-6 7-7
Career Record, Australian Open Finals
6-1 0-1
YTD Prize Money
$3,310 USD $3,310 USD
Career Prize Money
$81,761,761 USD $34,435,058 USD

* – Stats are before the Australian Open, from WTATennis.com

 

2017 AUSTRALIAN OPEN

Date Time (ET) Event Network  
Thur Jan 26 –  

Fri Jan 27

11 p.m. All Courts (English)

Multiple Courts (Spanish)

WatchESPN LIVE
Sat, Jan 28 12 MID Men’s Doubles Championship

M.Bryan / B.Bryan vs.

Kontinen / Peers

WatchESPN LIVE
 

 

 
Thu, Jan 26 3:30 – 6 a.m. Men’s Semifinal #2

Nadal vs. Dimitrov

ESPN

ESPN Deportes

LIVE
Fri, Jan 27 2 – 6 p.m. Men’s Semifinal #2

Nadal vs. Dimitrov

ESPN2 Encore
  7 – 9 p.m. 2003 Australian Open

Women’s Championship

S.Williams vs. V.Williams

ESPN Classic Encore
  3 – 5:30 a.m. Women’s Championship

S.Williams vs. V.Williams

ESPN

ESPN Deportes

LIVE
Sat, Jan 28 9 – 11 a.m. Women’s Championship

S.Williams vs. V.Williams

ESPN2 Encore
  6 – 8 p.m. Women’s Championship

S.Williams vs. V.Williams

ESPN Classic Encore
  8 – 10 p.m. Women’s Championship

S.Williams vs. V.Williams

ESPN Classic Encore
  10 p.m. – MID Women’s Championship

S.Williams vs. V.Williams

ESPN Classic Encore
  3 – 6:30 a.m. Men’s Championship

Nadal or Dimitrov vs. Federer

ESPN

ESPN Deportes

LIVE
Sun, Jan 29 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Men’s Championship

Nadal or Dimitrov vs. Federer

ESPN2 Encore

(For these charts, all times are Eastern, and each day “begins” at 6 a.m. ET.

Therefore, the listing Thur., Jan. 26, at 3:30 a.m. ET is actually very late on Thursday night.)

-30-

 

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Dave Nagle

It was 33 years at ESPN for me as of November 2019 (the only job I’ve ever had) after joining merely to help with the America’s Cup for three months at a robust $5.50 per hour. I like to say I simply kept showing up. I’ve worked on almost every sport, plus answered viewer calls and letters (people used to write!), given tours, written the company newsletter and once drove NASCAR’s Jeff Gordon to the local airport. My travels have been varied…I’ve been to Martinsville and Super Bowls; the America’s Cup (all 3) in San Diego and College GameDay in the sport’s meccas such as Eugene, Auburn, Lubbock, Stillwater and more; the NBA Finals and Indy 500; Wimbledon (16 times and counting) and the “other Bristol,” the one with a race track in Tennessee. These days, in addition to overseeing the Fan Relations, Archives and ESPNPressRoom.com, my main areas are tennis, ratings, and corporate communications documents, including ESPN’s history and growth.
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