HEADED FOR VICTORY: Serena Williams gees herself up after winning a point last night.
HEADED FOR VICTORY: Serena Williams gees herself up after winning a point last night. PAUL Crockafp

Serena wins her sixth Open

WORLD No.1 Serena Williams captured her sixth Australian Open crown and 19th slam triumph in Melbourne last night.

The 33-year-old American proved too good for Russian second seed Maria Sharapova, 27, prevailing 6-3 7-6 (7-5) in one hour and 50 minutes.

Williams made the most of her opportunities in the first set, breaking three times, while Sharapova could manage to break only once from three attempts.

Williams had more opportunities to break serve in the second set but it went on serve to a tie-breaker.

With Williams ahead, Sharapova saved one match point with a forehand winner, but the American won the championship with an ace - her 18th of the match.

Williams also won the Australian Open in 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2010.

Sharapova won it in 2008 and has five slams to her name.

Earlier in the day, some of the legends of the game converged on Melbourne to pay tribute to the career of Australian 11-time slam champion Neale Fraser.

While there, they provided their thoughts on today's men's grand final between Serbia's Novak Djokovic and Great Britain's Andy Murray.

World No.1 and tournament top seed Djokovic, 27, proved to be the popular pick to win his 10th slam.

"The stage is set for what should be a really quality four hours or so of tennis," John Newcombe said.

"I give the edge just slightly to Novak. The way he won that fifth set (6-0) in his semi (against Stan Wawrinka). It's just hard to go past him."

Djokovic has won the Australian Open four times.

Murray, 27, is shooting for his third slam and his first Australian Open.



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