Serena Williams won her sixth Australian Open and 19th Grand Slam by defeating No. 2 Maria Sharapova 6-3, 7-6(7-5) in one of the most electrifying finals matches.
Williams started slow in the tournament, but right from the start of this match, she stormed out and broke Sharapova in the first game. She was up 2-0 when rain poured from the sky, thus forcing a rain delay. Williams, fighting an illness, went backstage. After the match, she said she vomited during the break, which helped her feel better.
“I just had to hurl,” she exclaimed. “After that, I felt better because my chest was free!”
It did help because she returned and won the game with her signature serve. Sharapova broke her to push the set to 3-5, but Williams responded with a break to win the set 6-3.
One reason why Sharapova ranks as number 2 is because of her fight. Even though Williams dominated the first set, Sharapova did not give up. Both players held their serve. Sharapova even fought off a championship point and forced a tiebreak. But nothing could get past Williams’s colossal serves. When Sharapova crept closer, Williams answered with ace after ace. Commentators on Twitter asked if Williams could continue relying on her serve. The simple answer is yes. She thought she won the match, but the chair umpire called a let. Williams dropped her racket, put her hands on her hips, and told herself to calm down.
With a glare, Williams slammed home an ace. She confirmed the point and jumped into the air once she realized she won her second Grand Slam in a row. It is her 16th consecutive victory against Sharapova. She boasts a 17-2 all-time record against her, with Sharapova last win against her coming in 2004.
That moment when you win your 19th career major championship.
Serena now tied for 3rd most major titles of all time. pic.twitter.com/8mOYIfH6Ct
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 31, 2015
Serena then ran to her team and celebrated.
“I have to congratulate Maria,” said Williams after she received her trophy. “She played a wonderful match and she really pushed me. She played so well and gave me a great final not only for the fans, but for women’s tennis. I’m really honored to play her in the final.”
She reminded people to always work and thanked her family and coach.
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 31, 2015
“Growing up I wasn’t the richest,” she said. “But I had a rich family in spirit and support and standing here with 19 championships is something I never thought would happen.I went on the court with a ball and a racket and a hope. It’s inspiring for those of you out there who want to be something or for whatever you want to do when you grow up. You never know who you’re going to inspire so I’m so honored.”
Williams won this match with a terrible cold. There are still three Grand Slams this year and it will be hard not to pick her as the favorite.