Pulse.ng logo
Go

Australian Open: Serena Williams raging favourite for Maria Sharapova final

Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova will go head-to-head in the Australian Open final, vying for the Daphne Akhurst Trophy.

  • Published: , Refreshed:

The top two seeds will meet in the Australian Open women's singles final on Saturday, but Serena Williams will be a raging favourite.

Top seed Williams has beaten Maria Sharapova 15 straight times - the Russian's last win in their 18 encounters coming in the WTA Tour Championships in 2004.

The Russian has dropped only two sets on her way to the Melbourne Park decider - as many as 18-time major winner Williams herself - but is still looking at an uphill battle as she tries to break her long-running drought against the American.

Sharapova has only taken three sets in those 15 losses - a streak which began in 2005 in Melbourne when Williams saved three match points and won an epic semi-final 8-6 in the third set.

The second seed, speaking following her semi-final victory over 10th seed Ekaterina Makarova, said Williams' power was her number one concern.

"I think her power and her aggressiveness, I think that's always made me a little bit too aggressive, maybe going for a little bit more than I had to," Sharapova said.

"She's great at making players hit that shot that you don't necessarily have to go for ... maybe going for a little too much, going on the line.

"It's been a really difficult match-up for me, but I am a competitor. I will go out and I will do everything I can to try to change that result around."

Sharapova said regardless of an impending final match-up with someone who has dominated her, she will go into Saturday night's clash with confidence.

"I think my confidence should be pretty high going into a final of a grand slam no matter who I'm facing against and whether I've had a terrible record, to say the least, against someone," she said.

"It doesn't matter. I got there for a reason. I belong in that spot. I will do everything I can to get the title."

Despite a one-sided head-to-head ledger in general, Sharapova has the chance to square their major final record - Williams has a 2-1 lead in that regard.

Sharapova downed Williams to win her maiden grand slam crown at Wimbledon in 2004, but the American returned the favour to win the '07 Australian Open and '13 French Open finals.

Sharapova's outlook on the final might also improve if she heard Williams' assessment of the match-up.

"I want another title, but it's not life or death," Williams said.

Do you ever witness news or have a story that should be featured on Pulse Nigeria?
Submit your stories, pictures and videos to us now via WhatsApp: +2349055172167, Social Media @pulsenigeria247: #PulseEyewitness & DM or Email: eyewitness@pulse.ng. More information here.