Serena Williams beat Maria Sharapova 6-3, 7-6 (5) at the Grand Slam this Saturday; earning herself her 19th victory at the Australian Open event to date.
The win came unexpectedly after Serena, eager to seal the victory, accidentally mistook a let shot for a win. During the match up, Serena fired what she thought was an ace at Sharapova and immediately ditched her racket in excitement. It would be an act done too soon as the official shouted his ruling; let. “I thought that was it,” said Serena, clearly distraught by the call. “I thought, she’s going to try to hit a winner now.”
Serena had also been battling a severe cold that morning, taking trips back and forth from the locker room and even leaving to hurl at one point in the match.
The star kept her composure, however, and went for another ace. It would be her 18th of the match. This time around, after waiting for the official’s confirmation, Williams was victorious. The now 19 Grand Slam winner’s reaction became easily apparent as she shook Sharapovas hand then immediately began jumping up and down the court in excitement. “I’m so honored to be here and to hold this 19th trophy,” Williams said. She claims she didn’t think it would happen this fast but, “it feels really good.”
This was Serena Williams’ 16th win in a row over Maria Sharapova in what has been an undefeated match up since 2004.
Williams is now the oldest winner of the Australian Women’s title at the age of 33 and moves up to second place behind Steffi Graf (22) in Grand Slam wins – but – she does not plan to stop there. “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.”