Serena Williams wins 6th Australian, 19th major title

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Serena Williams Wins 19th Grand Slam Final Against Sharapova and More

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - Serena Williams won her 19th Grand Slam title, continued her unbeaten run in six Australian Open finals and extended her decade-long domination of Maria Sharapova with a 6-3, 7-6 (5) victory despite a hacking cough on Saturday night.

After celebrating prematurely on her third match point, letting her racket go before hearing a let call to what she thought was an ace, Williams had to quickly re-gather her composure.

"I thought, 'Wow this is it, I did it, only to hear let. I was like, 'OK Serena!'" she said. "I was very disappointed, because Maria was playing so well. I thought she's going to try to hit a winner now. She's goes for broke on match point."

Top-ranked Williams took a deep breath and fired another ace - her 15th of the set and 18th of the match - and this time the celebration was real.

She jumped around like a little child, bouncing up and down, before shaking hands with Sharapova at the net.

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Serena Williams wins 6th Australian, 19th major title
Serena Williams of the US holds the trophy as she celebrates after victory in her women's singles final match against Russia's Maria Sharapova on day thirteen of the 2015 Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 31, 2015. AFP PHOTO / MAL FAIRCLOUGH -- IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE (Photo credit should read MAL FAIRCLOUGH/AFP/Getty Images)
Serena Williams of the US holds the trophy as she celebrates after victory in her women's singles final match against Russia's Maria Sharapova on day thirteen of the 2015 Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 31, 2015. AFP PHOTO / MAL FAIRCLOUGH -- IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE (Photo credit should read MAL FAIRCLOUGH/AFP/Getty Images)
Serena Williams of the US holds the trophy as she celebrates after victory in her women's singles final match against Russia's Maria Sharapova on day thirteen of the 2015 Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 31, 2015. AFP PHOTO / MAL FAIRCLOUGH -- IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE (Photo credit should read MAL FAIRCLOUGH/AFP/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 31: Serena Williams of the United States holds the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup after winning the women's final match against Maria Sharapova of Russia during day 13 of the 2015 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 31, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 31: Serena Williams of the United States and Maria Sharapova of Russia shake hands after Williams won their women's final during day 13 of the 2015 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 31, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 31: Serena Williams of the United States reacts to a point in her women's final match against Maria Sharapova of Russia during day 13 of the 2015 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 31, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 31: Serena Williams of the United States celebrates winning championship point in her women's final match against Maria Sharapova of Russia during day 13 of the 2015 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 31, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 31: Serena Williams of the United States reacts to a point in her women's final match against Maria Sharapova of Russia during day 13 of the 2015 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 31, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)
Serena Williams, at right, and Angelique Kerber, of Germany, pose with the winner and runner-up trophies after the championship match of the Bank of the West Classic tennis tournament on Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014, in Stanford, Calif. Williams won the match 7-6 (1), 6-3. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Serena Williams hugs a stuffed teddy bear resembling the tournament mascot after defeating Angelique Kerber, of Germany, during the championship match of the Bank of the West Classic tennis tournament on Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014, in Stanford, Calif. Williams won the match 7-6 (1), 6-3. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Serena Williams holds the winner's trophy after beating Angelique Kerber, of Germany, during the championship match of the Bank of the West Classic tennis tournament on Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014, in Stanford, Calif. Williams won the match 7-6 (1), 6-3. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Serena Williams returns to Angelique Kerber, of Germany, during the championship match of the Bank of the West Classic tennis tournament on Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014, in Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Serena Williams celebrates after defeating Angelique Kerber, of Germany, during the championship match of the Bank of the West Classic tennis tournament on Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014, in Stanford, Calif. Williams won the match 7-6 (1), 6-3. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Angelique Kerber, of Germany, returns to Serena Williams during the championship match of the Bank of the West Classic tennis tournament on Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014, in Stanford , Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Serena Williams, right, shakes hands with Angelique Kerber, of Germany, at the end of the championship match of the Bank of the West Classic tennis tournament on Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014, in Stanford, Calif. Williams won the match 7-6 (1), 6-3. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Serena Williams returns to Angelique Kerber, of Germany, during the championship match of the Bank of the West Classic tennis tournament on Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014, in Stanford , Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Serena Williams, of the United States, returns the ball to Andrea Petkovic, from Germany, during the second set of a semifinal in the Bank of the West Classic tennis tournament in Stanford, Calif., Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014. Williams won 7-5, 6-0. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Serena Williams returns the ball to Andrea Petkovic, from Germany, during the second set of a semifinal in the Bank of the West Classic tennis tournament in Stanford, Calif., Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014. Williams won 7-5, 6-0. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Serena Williams serves to Andrea Petkovic, from Germany, during the first set of their semifinal in the Bank of the West Classic tennis tournament in Stanford, Calif., Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Serena Williams,, of the United States runs toward the ball to return to Ana Ivanovic, from Serbia, during the first set of their match in the Bank of the West Classic tennis tournament in Stanford, Calif., Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Serena Williams reacts after giving up a point during the first set of her match against Karolina Pliskova in the Bank of the West Classic Tennis Tournament, Wednesday, July 30, 2014, in Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Beck Diefenbach)
Serena Williams returns the ball during the second set of her match against Karolina Pliskova in the Bank of the West Classic Tennis Tournament, Wednesday, July 30, 2014, in Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Beck Diefenbach)
Serena Williams, left, shakes hands with Karolina Pliskova after defeating Pliskova in the Bank of the West Classic Tennis Tournament, Wednesday, July 30, 2014, in Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Beck Diefenbach)
Serena Williams returns the ball during the first set of her match against Karolina Pliskova in the Bank of the West Classic, Wednesday, July 30, 2014, in Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Beck Diefenbach)
PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 10: Serena Williams of the United States plays a forehand in the women's singles match against Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland during day seven of the 2015 Hopman Cup at Perth Arena on January 10, 2015 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Will Russell/Getty Images)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - DECEMBER 14: Serena Williams participates in The Serena Williams Ultimate Run on December 14, 2014 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Johnny Louis/WireImage)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - DECEMBER 14: Serena Williams attends the First Annual Serena Williams Ultimate 5k Run on December 14, 2014 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Manny Hernandez/Getty Images)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - DECEMBER 12: Serena Williams attends the Ultimate Run VIP Kick-Off on December 12, 2014 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Aaron Davidson/WireImage)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - DECEMBER 12: Serena Williams attends the Ultimate Run VIP Kick-Off on December 12, 2014 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Aaron Davidson/WireImage)
MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 12: Serena Williams is sighting on December 12, 2014 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Alo Ceballos/GC Images)
MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 14: Serena Williams is seen on the Ultimate Run South Beach on December 14, 2014 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Alo Ceballos/GC Images)
SINGAPORE - DECEMBER 04: Andre Agassi of the Singapore Slammers talks with team mates Daniela Hantuchova and Serena Williams during their teams match against the UAE Royals during the Coca-Cola International Premier Tennis League at the Singapore Sports Hub on December 4, 2014 in Singapore. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images for IPTL 2014)
SINGAPORE - DECEMBER 03: Serena Williams of the Singapore Slammers in action against Ana Ivanovic of the Indian Aces during the Coca-Cola International Premier Tennis League at the Singapore Sports Hub on December 3, 2014 in Singapore. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images for IPTL 2014)
HERNING, DENMARK - NOVEMBER 19: Serena Williams of the United States in action against Ana Ivanovic of Serbia in the Energi Danmark Champions Battle at Jyske Bank Boxen Arena on November 19, 2014 in Herning, Denmark. (Photo by Lars Ronbog / FrontZoneSport via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 04: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Tennis players Caroline Wozniacki (L) and Serena Williams attend a game between the New York Knicks and the Washington Wizards at Madison Square Garden on November 4, 2014 in New York City. The Wizards defeated the Knicks 98-83. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 03: Serena Williams attends The 11th Annual CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards at Spring Studios on November 3, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage)
SINGAPORE - OCTOBER 26: Serena Williams of USA celebrates with the Billie Jean King trophy after she defeats Simona Halep of Romania in the final during day seven of the BNP Paribas WTA Finals tennis at the Singapore Sports Hub on October 26, 2014 in Singapore. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
SINGAPORE - OCTOBER 26: Serena Williams of the United States with the Billie Jean King Trophy as she answers questions from the media in her press conference after her straight sets victory against Simona Halep of Romania the final during the BNP Paribas WTA Finals at Singapore Sports Hub on October 26, 2014 in Singapore. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Serena Williams of the US (2nd R), Simona Halep of Romania (2nd L), Tennis legend Billie Jean King (R) and Melissa Pine, tournament director (L) pose for a group photograph after the finals of the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) finals in Singapore on October 26, 2014. AFP PHOTO / ROSLAN RAHMAN (Photo credit should read ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
SINGAPORE - OCTOBER 23: Serena Williams of the United States takes a photograph for twitter social media site after her straight sets victory against Eugenie Bouchard of Canada in their round robin matchduring the BNP Paribas WTA Finals at Singapore Sports Hub on October 23, 2014 in Singapore. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Serena Williams of the US returns a shot to Eugenie Bouchard of Canada during the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) finals round robin match in Singapore on October 23, 2014. AFP PHOTO / ROSLAN RAHMAN (Photo credit should read ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
SINGAPORE - OCTOBER 22: Serena Williams of the United States shows her frustrations during her straight sets defeat by Simona Halep of Romania in their round robin match during the BNP Paribas WTA Finals at Singapore Sports Hub on October 22, 2014 in Singapore. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
SINGAPORE - OCTOBER 22: Serena Williams of the United States shows her frustrations during her straight sets defeat by Simona Halep of Romania in their round robin match during the BNP Paribas WTA Finals at Singapore Sports Hub on October 22, 2014 in Singapore. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
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"I'm so honored to be here tonight and to hold this 19th trophy @ my favorite stadium," Williams said.

The 33-year-old Williams became the oldest winner of the Australian women's title in the Open era and moved into outright second place on the list of major winners in the Open era, behind only Steffi Graf's 22.

Still affected by a recent cold, Williams controlled the first set around a rain delay in the sixth game, when play was stopped for 13 minutes for the roof to be closed. Williams came back on court momentarily near the end of the break, but returned to the locker room.

"I had a really bad cough, I ended up throwing up, actually. I think that helped me when I got it out," Williams said. "I've just got a really bad cold, a really bad cough. Usually when that happens you stay in bed, you don't play matches every day."

She came back from the break and fired an ace to start a run of six straight points. She was broken while serving for the set but broke Sharapova for a third time to clinch it.

Williams won the first six points of the second set, too, and seemed on course for another lopsided victory before Sharapova started hitting out.

The five-time major winner had 18 of her 21 winners in the second set, cutting down her unforced errors and fending off four break points.

No. 2-ranked Sharapova saved two match points, including one in the 10th game when she bravely hit a forehand winner down the line - applauded by Williams - and she calmly held serve twice to stay in the match.

Sharapova forced a tiebreaker and then took the first point off Williams when she leaped into a service return down the line.

But Williams rallied again and relied on her serve to keep the points short, missing a second match point when Sharapova hit a winning service return. Williams didn't relent, though, and secured the title that lifted her above the career records of Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova, who had 18 Grand Slam singles titles.

Williams had one of her most consistent matches in the tournament. As well as the aces, she won 37 of the 44 points when she got her first serve into play, was only broken once and hit 38 winners.

She was aggressive from the start, pumping her fist and screaming "C'mon" after big points. But she had to tone it down after going slightly too far in the seventh game of the second set when the chair umpire ruled a hindrance when she celebrated too early on a service winner and was docked a point.

When she eventually held that game with an ace, she held out her fist and didn't utter a sound.

"I know the rules now. I'm not one to argue unless I'm sure that I'm right ... If anything I need to relax more," Williams said. "At that point, I was so uptight."

Williams now has won 16 in a row and is 17-2 in career matches against Sharapova, who hasn't won a head-to-head meeting since 2004.

Two of Williams' six Australian titles have come with straight-set wins in the final against Sharapova, the first in 2007. While the American has a 100 percent record at Melbourne Park, Sharapova dropped to 1-3 in Australian Open finals - her only victory coming in 2008.

"I haven't beaten her in a long time but I love every time I step on the court with her," said Sharapova, who had to save two match points in the second round. "I've had some of the best memories of my career on this court and also some of my toughest losses, but that's the life of a tennis player."

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