Serena Williams Wins 6th Australian Open Title

Top seed Serena Williams won the battle of the world’s top two women’s singles tennis players to clinch her 6th Australian Open title on Saturday.

The world No. 1 sealed a battling 6-3 7-6(7-5) win over the 2nd-seed Russian to claim her 19th major and move up second in the record for most career Grand Slam titles- breaking her tie with legends Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova.

“Growing up I wasn’t the richest, but I had a rich family in spirit and support. Standing here with 19 championships is something I never thought would happen,” beamed Serena in her championship speech.

“I’m so honoured to be here tonight in front of one of my favourite stadiums… You all support me every year.”

She is now three shy of Steffi Graf’s record of Grand Slam single’s triumphs.

Serena Williams Clenches Her Fist After Winning Her Sixth Australian Open Title. Image: Getty via Tennis Australia.
Serena Williams Clenches Her Fist After Winning Her Sixth Australian Open Title. Image: Getty via Tennis Australia.

The win increases her dominance on their WTA career head-to-head to 17-2- the two defeat coming when Sharapova was aged 17 in 2004. Williams has now won their last 16 matches in a row.

The American’s serve has been her potent weapon against a player who has improved in mental strength and boasts of powerful groundstrokes in her arsenal.

Williams had notched up 92 winners coming into Saturday evening final and was tied on 28 backhand winners with Sharapova. But after one hour and 51 minutes of high-impact tennis at the Rod Laver Arena, the 33-year-old had raked in 38 more winners to Sharapova’s 21, with 18 aces to top that figure.

They may not be best of friends off-court but when occasion calls for their match-up, the crowd have always struggled on the edge of their sits. With Sharapova making a shaky start to the showdown when she double faulted to hand Williams an early break; the stage was set for Williams to assert her status.

Maria Sharapova was Looking to End a 15-Match Losing Streak against Serena Williams in the Australian Open Final. Image: Getty via Tennis Australia.
Maria Sharapova was Looking to End a 15-Match Losing Streak against Serena Williams in the Australian Open Final. Image: Getty via Tennis Australia.

The top seed chopped off Sharapova’s second serve and while both players were locked at 30-all in the 6th game, it began chucking it down, prompting officials to call for the roof to be closed. Serena, who had taken a brief break to see her tournament doctor, while ball kids and officials mop up the rain, returned to mount assault. With relative ease, she smashed an ace and a forehand winner to go 4-2 up.

Both players took their turns in breaking serves before Williams finished off the first set in 47 minutes.

After dropping the first game of the second set, Sharapova held to level for 1-all and 2-all in a tough service game.

Serena blasted off three aces in a breathtaking contest which saw her take a 3-2 lead and then ducked a hindrance point for shouting ‘come on’ before the point had finished.

Sharapova continued to hang on by her fingertips, and saved a match point with a delightful forehand winner to tie the set 5-5.

The 28-year-old fended off a second match point in the tie-break on her second serve before Williams closed it out on her third opportunity sealing victory with her 15th ace of the set, which very much to her disbelief had counted for a let.

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