On Saturday evening here, Williams won her 19th Grand Slam singles title with a 6-3, 7-6(5) victory over Maria Sharapova in the Australian Open women’s final. The win puts her ahead of Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova on the all-time list and leaves her three shy of Steffi Graf ’s 22, the record for the Open era, which began in 1968.
Williams has now beaten Sharapova 16 straight times, a streak that spans more than 10 years. Her record in Grand Slam finals is an astonishing 19-4.
“Standing here with 19 championships is something I never thought would happen,” Williams told the crowd during the trophy ceremony. “I’m just so excited to have this trophy.”
Williams, 33, is the second-oldest woman to win a Grand Slam singles title—Navratilova was a few months older when she won her last, at Wimbledon in 1990. Williams is also the oldest player ever to hold the No. 1 ranking since the computer-ranking system was started in 1975. This is the sixth Australian Open title of Williams’s career—also an Open-era record.