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Serena earns Team USA's "Best of January" honors

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 28: Serena Williams of the United States poses with the Daphne Akhurst Trophy after winning the Women's Singles Final against Venus Williams of the United States on day 13 of the 2017 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 28, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
February 7, 2017 04:01 PM

By Ashley Marshall, USTA.com

Serena Williams made history in Melbourne last month when she won her 23rd Grand Slam women’s singles title at the Australian Open. Now the record holder has added yet another accolade to her sure-fire Hall of Fame credentials.

Williams earned the United States Olympic Committee's (USOC) “Best of January” honors for her historic achievement Down Under, one of three awards given to Team USA athletes. The award was voted on by Team USA’s sporting governing bodies, members of the media and fans.

As a monthly winner, the 35-year-old is now automatically eligible for the USOC’s Best of 2017 consideration at the end of the year.

Williams turned back the clock at the Australian Open to win the title for a seventh time, moving her ahead of Steffi Graf to the top of the list for major titles won in the Open era. The American legend is now just one win behind Margaret Smith Court’s all-time record of 24 major singles wins.

Williams’ 6-4, 6-4 finals victory over sister Venus also helped her regain the No. 1 spot in the world rankings and smashed a number of other records, including the oldest woman to ever win a Grand Slam and the longest span between first and last major titles (17 years, four months, 17 days).

Visit TeamUSA.org for a complete list of monthly finalists from the 2016-17 qualification period, which runs from October 2016-September 2017. The 2017 Best of the Year Awards will be held in December.