They might be best friends and sisters off the court, but Venus Williams showed no mercy in disposing Serena at the U.S. Open final.
Taking sibling rivalry somewhere it had never been before, the U.S. Open, Venus beat up on her younger sister 6-2, 6-4 to win her second straight championship at Flushing Meadows.
After the showdown ended, Venus and Serena embraced at the net.
"I love you," Venus said.
Venus admitted at the press conference that it was hard playing against her sister.
"There have been some good things and bad things," said Venus, 15 months older than her sister. "I always like to win. But I'm the big sister.
"I want to make sure she has everything, even if I don't have anything. It's hard. I love her too much. That's what counts."
There was a real feeling of electricity as both Venus and Serena Williams stepped onto the court at Arthur Ashe Stadium to a standing ovation.
It had been more than 100 years since sisters played for a Grand Slam title, when Maud Watson defeated Lillian Watson at Wimbledon in 1884, and the first time two black players stood at opposite sides of the net to battle for a major championship.
Father and coach Richard Williams, who devoted endless hours a day teaching tennis to his daughters on the public courts in Compton, Calif., is usually a huge public figure at his daughter's matches, but he headed home for this one, refusing to watch it in person or on television.
This was an historic event, one that many predicted would happen given how both Serena and Venus have dominated the tour at times the past two seasons.
The Williams sisters have now won five of the last nine Grand Slam championships.
But nerves surely played a factor in the early stages of the match, as a host of celebrities including Diana Ross, who sang God Bless America, pop singer Brandi, director Spike Lee and Yankee coach Joe Torre among others, sat and watched what was surely the most-anticipated tennis final in years.
Serena asserted control early in the first set with a dominating serve that topped out at 119 miles per hour, but that quickly fell apart as Venus battled back and then broke her sister's serve in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead.
For some reason that deflated Serena, and she started to lose control of her serve, making a number of foot faults, and mental mistakes to allow Venus to take the first set.
Serena made 20 unforced errors in the first set compared to Venus's nine.
With the crowd applauding her every point, Serena gave Venus a little more of a battle in the second set, taking it to 4-4 before older sister yet again broke serve and then took the final game for the championship.
Maybe Serena, who was the first from the Williams clan to win a Grand Slam championship in winning the U.S. Open in 1999, was destined to lose against her older sister.
In nine previous matches between sisters at the U.S. Open, the younger ones were a dismal 0-9.
Bidding for a record 16th Grand Slam title, Pete Sampras will face off against Australian Lleyton Hewitt in the men's final on Sunday afternoon.