MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Serena Williams weathered a barrage of big serves and heavy groundstrokes in the first set before beating 19-year-old Madison Keys 7-6 (5), 6-2 to set up an Australian Open final against Maria Sharapova.READ MORE: Texas Secretary Of State Says Some Counties Still Had Old Application For Mail-In Ballots On Their Websites
Williams dominated the second set of the all-American semifinal, breaking Keys’ serve twice. Keys saved seven match points on serve in the penultimate game before Williams closed with an ace on her ninth match point.
Sharapova beat fellow Russian Ekaterina Makarova 6-3, 6-2 earlier Thursday.READ MORE: Texas Congresswoman Beth Van Duyne Introduces Resolution Recognizing Heroes Of Synagogue Hostage Situation
Williams, an 18-time major winner, is back in the final here for the first time since winning her fifth Australian title in 2010.
The win ensured Williams will retain the top ranking, regardless of the outcome against No. 2 Sharapova. The American has a 16-2 record against Sharapova, including the last 15.
(© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)MORE NEWS: COVID-19 Has Taken Toll On Mental Health, Experts Say