Serena Williams will face Maria Sharapova in the dream final on the 2015 Australian Open, the first tennis major of the year. Sharapova who represents Russia, but lives in Long Boat Key, and Williams who resides in Palm Beach Gardens will make it an all Florida finals in Melbourne.
Both women showed why they are ranked No. 1 and No.2 respectively by the WTA, as they advanced to the Women’s Final Saturday night with duel straight sets semi-final wins in Melbourne. ESPN will have finals live Saturday morning at 3 am ET and for those who choose to sleep, ESPN2 will have a replay at 9 am ET.
Sharapova won an all-Russian contest against Ekaterina Makarova 6-3, 6-2. Meanwhile, it was Williams, the top seed, who converted her ninth match point to beat fellow American Madison Keys 7-6 (7-5) 6-2.
Williams, who at the age of 33, is out to tie fellow Floridian and tennis legend, Chris Evert for the oldest woman to win a major and score her sixth Australian Open title. She finished off a brilliant performance with a dramatic ending as Williams saw seven match points slip by at 5-1, before converting her ninth with an ace and a scream in the following game.
Keys, 19, battled Williams point for point in the first set sending it to a tiebreaker only to lose 7-5 and then it was cruise control for the 18-time Grand Slam champion. Williams was simply too much for Keys as she crushed her 6-2 to advance to the finals in a match that took one hour and 24 minutes to play.
Meanwhile, Sharapova, the 2008 champion, took three minutes longer than Williams to book her spot in the finals. It took her one hour and 27 minutes to beat 10th seed Makarova for the sixth time in six meetings.
The 27-year-old Sharapova was dominate from the start busting out to a quick 4-1 lead.Makarova, 26, did a good job of trying to comeback when she closed the gap to 4-3 in the opening set. Then Sharapova responded immediately and served out the set 6-3, after 48 minutes.
Like Williams did in her match with Keys, Sharapova dominated the second set, rolling out to a quick 3-0 and frankly there was no way back for Makarova. Sharapova made it six games in a row, en route to a 6-2 second set win and booking a place in her 10th Grand Slam final.
One daunting stat is that they talented Russian has a 2-16 record against Williams and has not beaten the American since 2004.