Oldest woman win Tennis Grand Slam
Was there a doubt in your mind that Serena Williams, the world number 1, would continue her dominance over the world number 2, Maria Sharapova in the Australian Open final?
There shouldn’t have been. As usual Serena bought out her A game to overcome a spirited Maria 6-3 7-6 (5). With 18 aces and 38 winners Serena was too determined and dominant for the Russian.
Going into the final Serena had won their last 15 matches. Unbelievably, the last match Maria won in their duel was over 10 years ago in 2004.
Serena had a good start breaking serve twice in the first set to win comfortably in an indoor court, as rain forced the roof to close half way through the first set.
The second set was a much tighter affair with no breaks of serve. Serena had plenty of chances on Maria’s serve early on, but to no avail. But Serena kept her composure with breathtaking groundstrokes and serves, earning herself a championship point with Maria serving at 4-5. Maria saved that one with a perfect punishing forehand into the corner. The tension continued into the tie-break where Maria saved another championship point, before an ace by Serena seemed to clinch the championship only to be denied by the net cord. Serena steadied herself and served another ace. Stunned she jumped up and down like a child at a candy store.
With that she had won an astonishing 19th grand slam and 6th at the Australian Open.
On winning her 19th grand slam Serena said, “Yeah, it just felt so good. I mean, I’ve been through so much the past week. I really, really didn’t expect to win. I didn’t expect to be here this long. I was just really, really elated to have an opportunity to walk out on the final match.”
I’m coming to appreciate Serena more and more with every slam she wins. What a true champion. Stuck down with a bad cold for the last week in a chilly week in Melbourne, she fought and believed and conquered all. She was more serene (…Serena…) than usual, happy in the knowledge she had 18 grand slams and having no pressure to win anymore. But no less when the pressure was off she played even better, chased down more balls, served even harder, and pounded those groundstrokes to become the oldest women’s Australian Open champion. Her eloquent and motivating speech made me admire her even more.