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Serena Williams wins the 2015 Australian Open

Serena Williams won the Australian Open, beating Sharapova in the final

Serena Williams jumps in the air after winning the 2014 Australian Open

Serena Williams reinforced her dominance over women’s tennis by winning her 19th Grand Slam title and moving past Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert in the all-time Major winners’ list. Williams beat Maria Sharapova 6-3, 7-6 in the Australian Open final at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne Park for her sixth Australian crown overall. It was the first time in more than a decade that the World No. 1 and World No. 2 contested an Australian Open women’s final, and the match definitely lived up to the hype. 

Note: You can watch all the action live on Sony Liv Sports here.

Serena on the front foot right from the word go

Serena Williams broke Sharapova in the very first game to seize the initiative. There was no looking back for the American, as she served impressively to preserve her lead. Sharapova was always playing catch up in that first set, and even though the rain seemed to have come to the Russian’s rescure with Serena serving at 3-2, 30-30, it wasn’t enough.

Williams got the momentum back in her favour when play resumed after a short delay, and continued holding with authority until she stepped up to serve at 5-2. The American threw in a sloppy game at that stage, getting broken at love to give Sharapova a lifeline. But at 3-5 down, Sharapova’s serve was broken again as Serena wrapped up the first set 6-3.

An even second set makes the contest a memorable one

The second set was a more evenly fought contest as Sharapova seemed to have found her feet to challenge Serena. To have any chance of making this a competitive match, the Russian needed to reproduce the form form her earlier rounds – and that’s exactly what she did. 

Sharapova started serving a lot better and saved a slew of break points as she refused to go away quietly. She dialed up the aggression on her shots and found her range, and the inside-out forehand winner she manufactured to save match point at 4-5 was especially applause-worthy. 

But the American is not World No. 1 for no reason. She withstood the barrage from the other end of the court and held her ground, with her serve coming to her aid on more than one occasion. There was nothing separating the two as the match headed into a tiebreak, and the Russian’s aggressive tennis helped her save another match point at 4-6. But Serena’s 18th ace of the match won her the set, the match and the championship. 

Stats attack

Serena’s serving was the biggest difference on the day. She served 18 aces and won 84% of her first serve points, never allowing Sharapova’s famed return of serve to become a decisive factor. Surprisingly, the American had more unforced errors than Sharapova (25-15), but she also enjoyed a comfortable lead in winners hit (38-21). 

Playing markedly superior tennis in nearly every department, Serena deservingly won her 6th Australian Open title in style, and the two competitors certainly gave the crowd their money’s worth with an entertaining final. 

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