- Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
Serena Williams won the Australian Open, beating Venus Williams in straight sets. This Grand Slam title not only came with a big trophy and $2.8 million winner’s check, but it also came with a special gift from Michael Jordan.
For Serena, it was her 23rd Grand Slam title, breaking her tie with Steffi Graf for the most ever during the Open era. So it was fitting that No. 23 himself would want to get involved.
While sitting on the ESPN set after the match, Serena was presented with a surprise gift from Jordan. Inside were two pairs of Air Jordan 1s, one in classic black and red and the other in pink and black, with the number 23 on the side. Serena called them her favorite colors.
The customized box, with “23 Grand Slams” on the side, also came with a letter from MJ.
“Winning is hard,” the letter read. “It takes years of hard work, mental toughness, and a willingness to accept the fact that you hate to lose. Congratulations with much respect on winning No. 23. It will be a privilege to keep watching your determination on the court. Your friend, Michael Jordan.”
When Serena went back out to the court to pose for photographers, she had one pair of the shoes on.
- Issei Kato/Reuters
Here is a close up of the shoes.
- Edgar Su/Reuters
Here is video of Serena receiving the gift on the set of ESPN.