Serena Williams wins Open record 23rd Grand Slam, beats sister Venus

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Serena Williams wins Open record 23rd Grand Slam, beats sister Venus

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Serena Williams has won her record 23rd Grand Slam singles title, and her sister was right there on court to give her a congratulatory hug.

The all-Williams final -- the first at the Australian Open since Serena won the first edition of the family rivalry here in 2003 -- went to the younger sibling 6-4, 6-4 on Saturday night.

With her record seventh Australian title, the 35-year-old Williams moved ahead of Steffi Graf for the most major titles in the Open era. Margaret Court has the all-time record and was also in the crowd for the final at Rod Laver Arena.

Court won 24 majors, but collected 13 of those before the Open era which began in 1968 after the sport became professional.

The victory also ensured Serena Williams will regain the top ranking, which she lost in September after 186 straight weeks when Angelique Kerber won the U.S. Open.

It was Serena's seventh win in nine all-Williams Grand Slam finals, and the first since Wimbledon in 2009. It was 36-year-old, No. 13-seeded Venus Williams' first trip back to a major final in 7 years.

Serena sat on the court, holding both arms up to celebrate, before Venus walked over to her sister's side of the net for a hug.

"This was a tough one," Serena Williams said. "I really would like to take this moment to congratulate Venus, she's an amazing person -- she's my inspiration.

"There's no way I would be at 23 without her -- there's no way I would be at one without her. Thank-you Venus for inspiring me to be the best player I can be and inspiring me to work hard."

Williams has won 15 majors since last losing to Venus in a Grand Slam final, at Wimbledon in 2008. That was the seventh and last major title that the older of the Williams sisters won.

Venus hadn't made the second week of a major for a few years as she came to terms with an energy-sapping illness since being diagnosed with Sjogren's syndrome in 2011, and made her return to the semifinals at Wimbledon last year.

"She's made an amazing comeback ... I don't like the word comeback," Serena Williams said. "She's never left. She's been such a great champion."

The match didn't live up to its classic billing, with nerves and tension causing uncharacteristic mistakes and unforced errors and four consecutive service breaks before Venus finally held for a 3-2 lead in the first set. That included a game when Serena had game point but served back-to-back double-faults and three in all to give up the break.

There were six service breaks in all. Both players were relatively subdued, except for Serena's racket smashing spike on the court in the third game that earned her a code violation.

After the fourth game, however, Serena Williams didn't face another break point in the 1-hour, 22-minute match.

"Serena Williams, that's my little sister, guys. Congratulations Serena on No. 23," 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, you know that. All the times I couldn't be there, wouldn't be there, didn't get there, you were there."

Venus stayed in the match with 21 winners, and won the longest rally of the match, but couldn't seem to keep up with her sister as the match progressed.

In terms of total years, it was the oldest Grand Slam women's final in the Open era with the Williams sisters combining for 71 years, 11 months. Roger Federer will be aiming to increase his all-time men's record to 18 when he takes on 14-time major winner Rafael Nadal on Sunday night, completing the singles finals lineup of all 30-somethings.

The Bryan twins missed out on a doubles record late Saturday, losing the final 7-5, 7-5 to Henri Kontinen of Finland and John Peers of Australia.

The third-seeded Bob and Mike Bryan were trying to win their 17th Grand Slam title, which would have tied them with John Newcombe for the most titles all-time.

Serena got a little bit superstitious Down Under, and hadn't wanted to talk about the No. 23. "Now we can talk about it," she said.

Now there's a limited-edition racket -- 23 to be released, with proceeds going to The Serena Williams Fund -- and a pair of custom-made shoes -- sent by former NBA star Michael Jordan. It had Jordan's usual jersey number No. 23 stamped on the heel, helping to provide some synchronicity for the numbers involved.

NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

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NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

Position Title: Intern
Department: Advertising/Sales
Company: NBC Sports Philadelphia
# of hours / week: 10 – 20 hours

Deadline: November 20

Basic Function

This position will work closely with the Vice President of Sales in generating revenue through commercial advertisements and sponsorship sales. The intern will gain first-hand sales experience through working with Sales Assistants and AEs on pitches, sales-calls and recapping material.

Duties and Responsibilities

• Assist Account Executive on preparation of Sales Presentations
• Cultivate new account leads for local sales
• Track sponsorships in specified programs
• Assist as point of contact with sponsors on game night set up and pre-game hospitality elements.
• Assist with collection of all proof of performance materials.
• Perform Competitive Network Analysis
• Update Customer database
• Other various projects as assigned

Requirements

1. Good oral and written communication skills.
2. Knowledge of sports.
3. Ability to work non-traditional hours, weekends & holidays
4. Ability to work in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment
5. Must be 19 years of age or older
6. Must be a student in pursuit of an Associate, Bachelor, Master or Juris Doctor degree
7. Must have unrestricted authorization to work in the US
8. Must have sophomore standing or above
9. Must have a 3.0 GPA

Interested students should apply here and specify they're interested in the ad/sales internship.

About NBC internships

Mobile sports betting in New Jersey not worth it yet

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USA Today Images

Mobile sports betting in New Jersey not worth it yet

Mobile sports betting is now available in the state of New Jersey.

So is it worth your time to make the trek across the bridge for mobile betting?

Most experts will tell you no. DraftKings is taking advantage of being the only mobile show in town.

Crash course on how sports betting works

It’s known amongst professional bettors that you have to win a minimum of 52.34 percent of your bets in order to make a profit. This is because sportsbooks in Vegas will typically take 10 percent in an effort to guarantee profit if a game has an even money bet on each team. Heavy hitters, or “sharps,” will view a 55 percent hit rate as a huge success and it’s extremely rare that the average bettor reaches that number over the long-term — no matter how many of your friends tell you they’re hitting 65 percent.

How DraftKings mobile betting works compared to Vegas

DraftKings is the most recent company to enter the world of mobile sports betting. However, you won’t be getting the best value betting on their mobile app.

For a traditional NFL game, there is a point spread. Let’s take the Eagles’ regular season opener. The defending World Champs are four-point favorites over the Falcons with the odds being -110 to bet either side. What this means is you need to bet $110 to win $100 and the house keeps $10. That $10 of interest is known as “juice” or “vig.”

The vig alters however if you bet the outright winner (the moneyline). The Eagles are currently -185 and the Falcons are +160. This is because the Eagles are a sizable favorite. You would have to bet $185 to win $100 betting the Eagles on the moneyline. You’ll notice there is a “25 cent” difference between the two moneylines. This is referred to as a “dime line.” The lower the “dime line” is, the more advantageous it is to the bettor. 

In baseball, this also goes for betting the run line, which is like a football betting line. Run lines will be -1.5 and +1.5 runs. If you bet on the team at -1.5, that team has to win by two runs. If you bet on the team at +1.5 runs, they need to either lose by one run or win the game outright.

MLB is where we see lack-of-value on DraftKings’ mobile betting. On the image below, you can see (as of this morning) the dime line for the run line is 40 cents in the Astros/Giants game. Most all of the dime lines for that game is 20 cents in Vegas sportsbooks. The DraftKings’ moneyline dime line for tonight’s Phillies/Diamondbacks game is 30 cents. Vegas ranges from 10 cents to 20 cents.

Is it worth it?

The playing field will level as more sportsbooks become mobile but you get far better value at a live sportsbook for the time being. The question for the consumer is how much are they willing to pay for the convenience of mobile sports betting? If it is value the consumer is looking for, then it’s best to make the trip to Atlantic City or Delaware to have some action on a game.

WARNING PENNSYLVANIA RESIDENTS: if you even attempt to place a bet while in your home state, you’ll get a pretty mean and scary message: