Aus open 2015:
The American world number one served superbly to win a final 6-3 7-6 (7-5) after Sharapova fought back in the second set.
Williams, 33, moves past Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert with a 19th major singles title.
She has now beaten Russia’s Sharapova, the world number two, 16 times in a row dating back to 2004.
On her third match point, she let her racket go before hearing a let call to what she thought was an ace.
“I thought, ‘Wow this is it, I did it, only to hear let. I was like, ‘OK Serena!'” she said. “I was very disappointed, because Maria was playing so well. I thought she’s going to try to hit a winner now. She’s goes for broke on match point.”
So she fell back on her biggest weapon, firing another ace — her 15th of the set and 18th of the match. This time, after checking it was official, she bounced around like a little child and the celebration was real.
“I’m so honored to be here and to hold this 19th trophy,” Williams said. “I didn’t think it would happen this fast, to be honest, but it feels really good. The 33-year-old Williams became the oldest winner of the Australian women’s title in the Open era and moved into outright second place on the list of major winners in the Open era, behind only Steffi Graf’s 22. Almost immediately, her thoughts turned to the next major.
“I would love to get to 22. I mean, 19 was very difficult to get to,” she said. “But I have to get to 20 first, and then I have to get to 21. It will be a very big task.
With the title, Williams moves ahead of greats Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova for 19 majors, putting the American three shy of Steffi Graf’s Open era record of 22. Williams, at 33 years and 127 days old, becomes the oldest Australian Open champion in what is her sixth title Down Under and first here since 2010. Serena benefited from rain in the area on this night, the roof being closed in the sixth game. Williams has now won four of her trophies here playing under the roof, including in 2003, 2005 and 2007 (the latter also against Sharapova