Maria dug in
Mike Tyson, Spike Lee and Alec Baldwin were all enthralled, as was Rod Laver, sitting courtside on the 50th anniversary of his second career grand slam, which he completed in New York. Sharapova, a five-time grand slam champion, was on the back foot throughout.
Williams served within herself but cut loose off the ground, holding for 5-1 as she forced another error, before a net-cord winner gave her another break and the first set. When she broke in the opening game of the second set, things looked bleak for Sharapova, but as she has done throughout her career, she dug in, getting on the board with a hold to trail 2-1.
Her only chance to get back into the match came in the next game when she forced two break points at 15-40 but Williams saved the first with a good serve and then a second with a superb backhand pass, at full stretch. At 4-1, she saved three more break points and then broke Sharapova one more time to clinch victory.