By Javier Yap – @javiervanderyap
History was on Williams’ side as the 33 year old swept aside Sharapova in under two hours to be crowned the 2015 Australian Open Women’s Champion.
The American world number one stretched her head-to-head record against her Russian world number two opponent to 17-2. The last time Sharapova defeated Williams was at the WTA Tour Championships, now named the WTA Finals, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, 2004.
Serena had been battling a cold for the past week which resulted in her cutting short a practice session yesterday. However, this did not seem to affect her during the night as she powered her way past the world number 2 to win her 19th career grand slam title.
There was a 13 minute delay when play was stopped while the roof was shut in Rod Laver Arena when Williams was 3-2 up on serve in the first set due to rainy conditions. Despite this absence of wind assistance Williams’ serve was still extremely dangerous
Sharapova broke Williams as she was serving for the set at 5-2. Williams responded instantly, winning four consecutive points as she broke back to take the opening set 6-3 in 47 minutes.
Sharapova saved a championship point at 5-4 (40-30) down in the second set, pushing Williams to a tie break but it was not enough to take down the big hitting American. Sharapova saved another championship point at 6-4 down in the tie breaker, but could not do anything about Serena’s rocket 198km/h ace championship winner.
Serena came into the match equal with Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert’s record of 18 grand slam victories, having won at Flushing Meadows lat year where she defeated close friend Caroline Wozniacki 6-3 6-3. The world number one has now added another grand slam title to her name and is three off Steffi Graf’s open era record of 22.