Australian Open 2015: Serena Williams vs Maria Sharapova match preview

A look ahead to the final match in women’s singles

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The Independent Online

For once there were no major upsets in the women’s draw and we’ll be treated to a final battle between the world No 1 and 2 when Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova meet at Rod Laver Arena on Saturday.

It last happened in Melbourne in 2004 when Justin Henin (world No 1 at the time) faced Kim Klijsters.

Both 2015 finalists beat their fellow countrywomen in the semi-finals, where Williams ended the dream run of Madison Keys and Sharapova gave no chance to Ekaterina Makarova.

It is Williams who statistically has a better chance of winning as she leads the head-to-head count comfortably 16-2, following a 10-year string of victories over the Russian.

However, Sharapova has been in top form recently, claiming a title in her warm-up tournament in Brisbane and conceding just one set in the course of the Championships.

If Williams wins the first Grand Slam final of the year she will claim 19th major title in her career placing her alone in 3rd place in the Open Era rankings.

For Sharapova it would be her sixth Grand Slam trophy and a chance to hold two major titles simultaneously for the first time in her career.

START: Saturday, Rod Laver Arena, 8.30am GMT

PAST MEETINGS...

2014 – Miami (Hard) Williams won 6-4, 6-3

2014 – Brisbane (Hard) Williams won 6-2, 7-6

2013 – French Open (Clay) Williams won 6-4, 6-4

STATS…

Last time Sharapova beat Williams was in 2004 in Los Angeles at the Tour Championships.

Maria Sharapova played 109 games in the tournament so far, while Williams 120.

Williams has 64 titles to her name (including 18 Grand Slams) compared to Sharapova’s 34 (including five Grand Slams)

Williams and Sharapova are the only two players on tour who have won all four Grand Slams in the past.

ODDS…

Williams to win 1.40

Sharapova to win 3

TV: British Eurosport

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