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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 July, 2004, 16:47 GMT 17:47 UK
Sharapova storms to Wimbledon glory
By Caroline Cheese
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova produced a remarkable display of power and poise to upset Serena Williams and win her first Wimbledon crown.

Williams was expected to make it a hat-trick of titles, but a stunned Centre Court crowd watched as she was overpowered 6-1 6-4 by the 17-year-old.

Sharapova, in her first Grand Slam final, took the first set in 30 minutes.

Williams was a break up in a compelling second set, but Sharapova found another level to take her first Grand Slam.

Sharapova, the first Russian woman to win the Wimbledon title, sank to her knees as her victory was confirmed and then climbed to the players' box to hug her father.

"It's unreal," she told BBC Sport after collecting the trophy.

It wasn't my day today but Maria played a really good match
Serena Williams
"My father and I have been through this together and it's just amazing.

"I know how tough it is to watch and playing is a lot easier so I owe him so much."

Top seed Williams looked devastated as she saw her hopes of a third straight Wimbledon title slip away, but afterwards she praised her opponent.

"It wasn't my day today but Maria played a really good match - and I want to congratulate her on her first Grand Slam, " she said.

1. Lottie Dodd 1887
15 years 9 months
2. Martina Hingis 1997
16 years 9 months
3. Maria Sharapova 2004
17 years 2 months
Making her debut in a Grand Slam final, Sharapova showed no sign of nerves.

Indeed it was Williams, the six-times Grand Slam winner, who was struggling to find her rhythm and the top seed fired a backhand long to give the Russian an early 3-1 lead.

It quickly became 5-1 when Sharapova whipped a backhand winner cross-court to break for the second time.

Serving out the set did not prove so easy, but after seeing three set points go by, the Russian took control of the final after just 30 minutes.

But Williams was not ready to surrender her crown without a fight, and she engineered her first service break of the match to lead 4-2 in the second set.

Sharapova, though, has impressed observers with her ability to ignore setbacks, and she proved it again in the final.

The teenager broke straight back and then even had her opponent applauding when she produced a stunning lob in the next game.

That shot appeared to inspire her and she stepped up a level again.

The ninth game proved crucial, and the crowd could hardly believe their eyes.

Williams was sent rushing all over the court as she battled to avoid the break, but the Russian remained ice cool.

On her fourth opportunity, she finally earnt the chance to serve for the match, and Williams' fightback was over.

Wimbledon women's final highlights

Interview: Maria Sharapova

Interview: Serena Williams

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