Coming off a first-round shocker the previous year to Virginie Razzano, the win must have been even sweeter for Williams.
Sharapova performed admirably, but Williams continues to get the better of her. She is now 14-2 against the second-ranked Russian all time. She took to Twitter to thank the fans:
She too took to Twitter to thank her fans:
At 31 years old, Williams has had a remarkable run.
It's amazing how she appears to be at the top of her game at this stage of her career.
Serena Williams Outlasts a Surging Maria Sharapova
Some predicted this women’s final would be a one-sided affair. Williams would control the pace and dominate the overmatched Sharapova, said popular opinion.
That did not happen early.
Using her powerful serve and defensive speed across the baseline, Sharapova was able to hold serve after a tough opening game. She then went on to break Williams to take a 2-0 advantage.
After finding some of the emotion she had lacked early, Williams rattled off three straight games before things were noted once more at 4-4.
Breaking the Russian's serve again to lead 5-4, Williams held serve to take the first set 6-4.
Williams' return game was on point early, but it took her some time to get her serve on track.
Williams Shuts the Door on Sharapova
Just like in the first set, Sharapova looked comfortable at the start of the second, taking the first game. And again, just like in the first set, Serena rattled off three crucial games in a row thanks to her ability to extend points and force mistakes.
Sharapova struggled to match the power and intensity of the American and could never find a real rhythm.
But she wasn't going to go down without a fight.
After another exchange of points, bringing the score to 4-3 in favor of Williams, Sharapova was running out of time, and she ultimately fell 6-4 in the second.
How They Got There
Williams dominated the field prior to Saturday’s matchup with Sharapova, taking down No. 5 seed Sara Errani 6-0, 6-1 in the semifinals.
The American champion also defeated Anna Tatishvili in the first round 6-0, 6-1, Caroline Garcia in the second 6-1, 6-2, No. 26 seed Sorana Cirstea in the third 6-0, 6-2, No. 15 seed Roberta Vinci in the fourth 6-1, 6-3 and Svetlana Kuznetsova in the quarterfinals 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.
Sharapova defeated the always dangerous No. 3 seed Victoria Azarenka 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 to gain her chance Saturday.
The 2012 champion also beat Su-Wei Hsieh in the first round 6-2, 6-1, Eugenie Bouchard in the second 6-2, 6-4, Jie Zheng in the third 6-1, 7-5, No. 17 Sloane Stephens in the fourth 6-4, 6-3 and No. 18 Jelena Jankovic in the quarterfinals 0-6, 6-4, 6-3.
Both players had tremendous tournaments.
Now, if only Sharapova can avoid Williams in the future.