Australian Open: Serena cleans out Sharapova Down Under

By Post Nigeria January 31, 2015 15:50

Australian Open: Serena cleans out Sharapova Down Under

Serena Williams, world number 1 and defending champion has claimed her 19th grand slam title after powering past Maria Sharapova to clinch a 6th Australian Open Title in Melbourne .

Despite struggling with a fever and a niggling cough during the week, Williams conquered via a 6-3 7-6 (5) victory.

Williams set the tone by breaking in the first game.

She took control of the first set by winning six straight points following a 12-minute rain delay — organizers then opted to use the roof at Rod Laver Arena — for a 5-2 lead.

Williams, in her acceptance speech said, “I wasn’t the richest (growing up),

“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 courts with a racket and a ball and a hope. That’s all I had.”

She later paid tribute to her adversary Sharapova who saved two match points, including one in the 10th game when she bravely hit a forehand winner down the line — applauded by Williams — and she calmly held serve twice to stay in the match.

Williams said “”I have to congratulate Maria, 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 honoured to play her in the final.”

With this win, Serena now has the second highest number of grand slam wins in the Open Era behind German, Steffi Graf who won it 22 times.