Serena Williams captures AO title, Wilson and Nike release limited-edition gear
Serena Williams scored her 23rd Grand Slam singles title to break her tie with Steffi Graf, defeating her sister Venus 6-4, 6-4 in Melbourne on Saturday.
Even though she has accomplished a lot, she wants more. That’s something that separates a champion from a truly great champion. -John McEnroe
“My first Grand Slam started here, and getting to 23 here, but playing Venus, it’s stuff that legends are made of,” Serena said on MSN. “I couldn’t have written a better story.” Her big sister echoed those sentiments.
“Serena Williams, that’s my little sister,” Venus said. “I have been right there with you. Some of them I have lost right there against you. It’s been an awesome thing, your win has always been my win.”
(We don’t know if we believe that, as Venus is a tough competitor. But it’s a nice soundbite.)
Serena’s equipment sponsors wasted no time getting in on the achievement. Much like when Roger Federer broke out a Nike jacket with “15” following his Wimbledon win in 2009.
NikeCourt and Jordan Brand have teamed up (like they did with the Federer U.S. Open shoe) to present two color versions of the exclusive women’s NikeCourt Flare. Both inspired by the colorblocking Air Jordan 1, one pays homage to the original ‘banned’ Air Jordan 1 colors, while the second (a black and pink version) takes cues from Serena’s 2016 on-court attire in NYC.
Both versions are adorned with the iconic Air Jordan Wings logo on the collar. For the trophy ceremony, Serena changed into the Flare sneakers. Note the #23, which stands for her record-breaking win as well as Jordan’s jersey number. Many websites have misidentified these as being Air Jordans, and they aren’t. The color schemes are identical, but you can see the difference when the different models are side by side. Jordan’s on the left, Flares in the middle and right.
Have these been sitting in the vault since Flushing Meadow last September? You can bet on it. Had Venus won, you wouldn’t be reading this post, until at least the French Open.
— TENNIS.com (@Tennis) January 28, 2017
Here’s a closer look at the Flare:
The celebratory pack includes the AJ1 SW collaboration, complete with Serena’s personal logo on the tongue and heel. The Air Jordan I is Williams’ favorite sneaker. Since 2004, the year she first signed with Nike, Serena has been lacing up the same beloved style for press conferences, celebratory galas, appearances and trips to training sessions.
No matter the season, and no matter the latest record or ever-growing win total, her attachment to Michael Jordan’s first signature shoe remains a constant. Here’s a close-up of the Serena Jordan:
The NikeCourt x Jordan Brand commemorative box is adorned with Jordan’s iconic Jumpman on the left lid and Williams’ “SW” logo on the right. Beneath each lies graphics which underscore the two champions’ shared athletic achievement. Under the Jumpman lies the number ’23,’ the symbolic tie between MJ and Serena.
Additionally, six words (one for each of MJ’s championships) — creative, determined, innovative, classic, performance and stylish — appear as reminder of both athletes’ winning mindset. Beneath Williams’ logo is a flowing pattern highlighting her career. It is intentionally unfinished, allowing for Serena’s drive for continued success.
The SW x Air Jordan footwear collection launched earlier today at Nike Soho. Both colorways of the women’s NikeCourt Flare AJ1 release January 30 on the Nike site SNKRS in the U.S., Western Europe and Japan. The Girls’ Air Jordan 1 Retro High SW is available Monday from nike.com in the U.S. only.
She received a special presentation on the ESPN set, too:
— Nike (@Nike) January 28, 2017
Serena just started playing with her signature Wilson frame as of the first of the year, and now there’s a very limited-edition Serena frame, too. Wilson has released an exclusive, extremely limited-edition commemorative racket to celebrate the achievement. With 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of the racket to going to The Serena Williams Fund, Wilson is selling only 23 of its 2017 Serena Williams Grand Slam Commemorative Edition Racket. Each racket was personally signed by Serena immediately after the match and strung to the specs she uses on tour. They are priced at $723. Operators are standing by.
(UPDATE 1:07pm PT: Out of stock.)