In a hotly contested Women’s Singles final, World No.1 Serena Williams beat World no.2 Maria Sharapova to clinch the Australian Open title for the sixth time.
Williams reached a new summit with her 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) win over Sharapova in the final. She now has 19 Grand Slam titles to her name and has emulated Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova in the all-time list for most Grand Slam titles, in open era. She is only 3 titles short of Steffi Graf’s record of 22 grand slam titles.
The level of tennis played by both players in the final made it a classic to watch. Powerful serves, furious returns, high intensity winners and loud “come-ons” made it even better.
On one side, there was a powerful Serena with a seemingly never-ending thirst for Grand Slams. On the other was Sharapova, ready to face her American trouble and end her losing streak against her. On top of that, the recent off-court spats between the two players added up to the tension.
The first set was tense from the start and Williams found a break that helped her take the set, 6-3. However, things started to swing a lot in the second, as Sharapova mounted pressure on Serena, searching for an elusive break of serve.
Williams was pushed to the wall in almost every service game in the second set but the American with her powerful serve managed to wriggle out of it every time. At 3 games all in the second set (3-3), Williams was 0-30 down but managed to escape with her reliable booming serves.
Although both players dug deep to find service breaks, they couldn’t manage to get one. Sharapova rescued herself from Championship point to Williams at 4-5 and 30-40 down with a mighty forehand winner, evoking praise from the American, who tapped her racquet nets to show appreciation.
The match went into a tie-breaker and Williams quickly raced to a 4-1 lead but Sharapova caught up to her making it 4-3. A couple of points later at 6-4, it was match point for Williams on Sharapova’s serve but the Russian played with grit to save her second Championship point of the evening. Again, at 6-5 it was Championship point for Williams on her serve but her ace was called off as it had grazed the net. However, she kept her composure and fired a legit ace to end the nail-biter.
Serena Williams with this win, has beaten Maria Sharapova 16 consecutive times. Sharapova’s last win against Williams came way back in 2004 when she was 17 years old.