Australian Open: Serena closes in on Graf's tally of major titles with win over Sharapova

Serena Williams of the US poses with the trophy as she celebrates after victory in her women's singles final match against Russia's Maria Sharapova on day thirteen of the 2015 Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on Jan 31, 2015. -- AFP
Serena Williams of the US poses with the trophy as she celebrates after victory in her women's singles final match against Russia's Maria Sharapova on day thirteen of the 2015 Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on Jan 31, 2015. -- AFP

MELBOURNE (AFP) - American top seed Serena Williams won her sixth Australian Open and 19th career Grand Slam title on Saturday with a 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) victory over Russia's Maria Sharapova.

The triumph means the world No. 1 overtakes 18-time major champions Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert to go a clear second on the all-time Open-era winners' list, three behind Steffi Graf on 22.

It also extends her decade-long dominance of Sharapova, with her 16th straight victory over the Russian.

At 33, she also became the oldest woman to win the title in the Open-era, taking her tally at Melbourne Park to six titles in six appearances in the final.