Why Serena Williams wore Air Jordan 23s after historic win
SERENA Williams enjoyed her 23rd Grand Slam title victory in "Michael Jordan style", changing into a bespoke pair of Air 23s immediately after beating her big sister Venus in the Australian Open women's final.
Serena won 6-4 6-4 to become the most-successful women's player in Open Era and is now just one grand slam title off equalling Margaret Court.
But as the 35-year-old prepared for the trophy ceremony, fans were quick to notice a change in Serena's footwear as she pulled on a pair of red and black Jordans, apparently provided by Nike for the occasion.
Asked about them after her victory, the 23-time grand slam winner said: "I am really surprised that Nike made really cool Jordans for me, 23s. I have these awesome 23 shoes that I will be wearing those.
"I finally made it to Jordan status at 23.
"I didn't pack them, my Nike representative had them apparently at the Open (US). That didn't work out so well.
"He said they got a lot of Delta miles on them, are like platinum members. They flew all the way here.
"I had no idea that it was happening. So I guess they've been waiting on this moment for a while."
Nike and Jordan Brand Celebrate Serena's #23 VICTORY pic.twitter.com/jT3QfZX6ru— Marlen Gutierrez (@Marlen_Guti_Gut) January 28, 2017
So why is it that the number 23 is held in such high regard in the sporting world?
It was the jersey number of the NBA's all-time greatest player, Michael Jordan. It is now also worn by the best player since Jordan retired, Lebron James.
The same number was worn by David Beckham when he played for Real Madrid and LA Galaxy.
Swimming sensation Michael Phelps has 23 Olympic gold medals.
A statement released by the sporting giants immediately after Serena had won the title said: "In celebration of Williams' history-making 23rd major title, NikeCourt and Jordan Brand 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."