Serena Williams Beats Maria Sharapova In Thrilling Australian Open Women’s Final

American tennis superstar Serena Williams is now officially the second most winning woman in the history of tennis following her 19th grand slam victory.

Williams defeated the formidable Russian Maria Sharapova in the Australian Open Women’s Final in order to inch up in the history books. She now sits alone in second place behind Germany’s Steffi Graf.

It is made Serena William the Australian Open champion for the sixth time in her career. Although Serena Williams won both sets, it would be dishonest to consider it anything other than a hard-fought victory.

Initially, it seemed like Williams would run away with the final. She won the first set 6-3. However, the second set will be remembered as a truly intense affair. Every time Serena won a game, Maria answered back.

Sharapova was truly determined to not give away yet another trophy to Williams, coming from behind to tie the second set at 6-6. When it turned to the tiebreaker, it seemed like the Russian might upset Serena Williams. However, Williams’ power and speed (even though both women were clearly tired), proved to be too much.

Serena Williams couldn’t hold back her glee, happily jumping up and down when she realized that she was once more a champion.

Maria was gracious when accepting her runner’s up trophy, giving all due to Serena Williams.

“First of all, I’ve got to congratulate [Serena Williams] for creating history. It’s really an honour playing against her, I haven’t beaten her in a really long time, but I really love playing against her. So congratulations on an incredible achievement.”

Serena Williams in turn honored her opponent, saying of Sharapova, “She gave us a great final, not only for you guys but for women’s tennis. I’m really honored I got to play you in the final.”

Williams admitted during an emotional moment that she never imagined that she’d get to 19 championships.

“Growing up, I wasn’t the richest, but I had a rich family in spirit and support, and standing here with 19 championships is something I never thought would happen.”

There was some skepticism at Serena Williams, who is 33, being able to perform at the top-level any longer. But anyone who witnessed this thrilling final won’t be able to doubt that Williams continues to be at the top of her game.

It’s very possible that Serena Williams may not only tie to grand slam record — she may set a new one.

[Image Credit: Australian Open Twitter]