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Serena Williams cruises past Sharapova to win sixth Australian Open title

Melbourne: Top seed Serena Williams continued her dominance over second seed Maria Sharapova to comfortably win her sixth Australian Open title on Saturday.

Serena's 6-3, 7-6 straight sets win over Sharapova took her overall tally to 19, surpassing Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert as she chases Steffi Graf's Open-era record of 22.

Williams, who at 33 was the oldest woman to contest an Open-era final in Australia, was contesting her 23rd Slam final. 

When the final started the American had a decade-long, 15-0 winning streak against the Russian, which she extended to 16. 

Serena Williams

Serena Williams in action during her women's singles final match against Maria Sharapova on day thirteen of the 2015 Australian Open tournament in Melbourne on Saturday. Pic/AFP

The final pitted the world's two best players, both in sizzling form, against one another in a dream Grand Slam decider, although the second seeded Sharapova's staggering inability to notch a win over Williams since 2004 put a lot of pressure on her.  

Earlier, Serena Williams easily won the first set 6-3.

Sharapova was chasing her second Australian title and sixth Grand Slam crown, but it was not to be.

Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova in action during her women's singles final match against Serena Williams on day thirteen of the 2015 Australian Open tournament in Melbourne on Saturday. Pic/AFP

Sharapova, 27, had demolished fellow Russian Ekaterina Makarova 6-3, 6-2 to make the ninth major final of her career. 

Top seed Williams, meanwhile, had outgunned fellow American Madison Keys in a semi-final slugfest. The younger of the Williams sisters had downed the unseeded Keys 7-6 (7/5), 6-2 after the gallant 19-year-old saved eight match points.

KNOW YOUR FINALISTS

SERENA WILLIAMS (USA)

World ranking: 1

Birthdate: September 26, 1981

Birthplace: Saginaw, Michigan,

USA Residence: Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, USA

Height: 5ft 9in (1.75m)

Weight: 155lbs (70kg)

Plays: Right-handed

Turned pro: 1995

Coach: Richard Williams/Patrick Mouratoglou

Career titles: 64

Grand Slam singles titles: 18

Career prize money: $63,500,779

MARIA SHARAPOVA (RUS)

World ranking: 2

Birthdate: April 19, 1987

Birthplace: Nyagan, Russia

Residence: Bradenton, Florida, USA

Height: 6ft 2in (1.88m)

Weight: 130lbs (59kg)

Plays: Right-handed

Turned pro: 2001

Coach: Sven Groeneveld

Career singles titles: 34

Grand Slam singles titles: 5

Career prize money: $32,730,228 

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