World No 1 Serena Williams rallied to defeat World No 2 Maria Sharapova 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 in the WTA Miami final, winning the event for a record sixth time.
Williams, who had shared the all-time Miami women’s title mark with Steffi Graf, won the last 10 games in adding to a trophy haul that included crowns in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2008. “It’s so good to win number six,” Williams said. “Start of the tournament, I definitely didn’t feel like I would be here, not with the way I was playing. But it definitely feels good to go through everything.”
It was the 11th match victory in a row for Williams over Sharapova, coming in their first meeting as the top two players in the world rankings, and gave the 31-year-old American a 12-2 edge in their all-time rivalry.
“She definitely pushed me,” Williams said. “I definitely look forward to our next matches.”
Sharapova took a set off Williams for the first time since 2008 and was up a break in the second set before the reigning Olympic, Wimbledon and US Open champion roared back to break the Russian in her last five service games.
“I certainly put myself in a much better position today,” Sharapova said.
“I had my chances. There’s no reason why I couldn’t win the match. I was playing, not well enough to win the match, obviously, but it was a step in the right direction and there’s no doubt that we’ll be playing many more times. There’s no doubt I’ll be able to beat her,” she added.
Williams became only the fourth woman in the modern era to win the same event six times, joining Graf, Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova.
“It’s definitely not my best tournament but the moments that count is when you can go and do the best you can and still come out on top and always try to improve,” Williams said.
Williams also became the oldest women’s champion in Miami history, four months older than Evert when the legend won here in 1986 at 31 years and two months of age.