Saturday, January 31, 2015

2015 AUS OPEN: Serena Beats Sharapova For 16th Consecutive Time To Win 19th Major

As I predicted yesterday, Serena Williams defeated Maria Sharapova for the 16th match in a row to win her 6th Australian Open and 19th grand slam title, 6-3 7-6(5). This win means that Serena is now only 3 behind Steffi Graf's 22 majors and improves to an incredible 19-4 in major finals and an undefeated 6-0 in Australian Open finals.

For Sharapova, the #2 player in the world it must be frustrating to have had so many opportunities and so many losses in the last 11 years. However, on the bright side, this was one of the Russian's better performances against Serena. It was only the third tiebreak set in 42 sets the two have played against each other, and one of the very few where Serena has failed to break her serve, despite having multiple opportunities, including one at 4-5 that was a Championship point! 

In the second set, Serena started hitting more errors, but also, more aces. In the first set she hit 3 aces and 3 doubles faults, but in the second set she had only one double fault and hit 15 aces (including one on her third championship point, the first on her own serve). At some point in the future (although probably not in a major final) Sharapova will reverse the streak (I think). Another thing Sharapova can look forward to is that she is 5 years younger than Serena and can possibly have success when Serena either exits the stage or her game starts to deteriorate with age.

As for now, though, Serena looks well placed to reach or exceed Graf's 22 majors and possibly even Margaret Court's 24!

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