World number one Serena Williams showed once again why she is the reigning queen of tennis . In yet another gritty display of power tennis, Serena won her sixth Australian Open and 19th career Grand Slam with a hard-fought win over arch-rival Russian tennis superstar Maria Sharapova, thereby consolidating her place among the legends of the sport.
The 6-3, 7-6 (7/5) triumph means the American world number one overtakes 18-time major champions Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert to go clear second on the all-time Open-era Grand Slam winners’ list, three behind German tennis icon Steffi Graf who has 22 Grand Slams under her belt.
Australia’s Margaret Court, who played many of her match before the Open-era, has 24 titles. Evert, commentating on ESPN, backed Williams to eventually overtake Graf’s mark “if she stays healthy, if she stays motivated”. “Standing here with 19 championships is something I never thought would happen, I went on the courts with just a ball and a racquet and hope and that’s all I had,” said Williams at post- match interaction with the media. Serena at 33 became the oldest women to win the Melbourne title.
For Sharapova it was yet another loss against her long time nemesis. And she again failed to break the jinx against Serena Williams.