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Last Updated: Saturday, 27 January 2007, 06:50 GMT
I proved critics wrong - Williams
Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams
Sharapova admitted that Williams played "flawless" tennis
Serena Williams relished proving her critics wrong after she thrashed top seed Maria Sharapova to win her third Australian Open title.

The unseeded American won 6-1 6-2 to complete her return from a knee injury.

"It was an awesome win because I had so many critics, so many people talking bad and saying negative things and saying I wasn't fit," said Williams.

"I felt that I was really fit and could last three sets and two-and-a-half or three hours, no worries."

She added: "I actually did that throughout the tournament, so you tell me no and I'll show you that I can do it."

Sharapova put on a brave face following one of the most comprehensive defeats of her career.

I was trying to find ways to get into the match but I wasn't able to do it
Maria Sharapova

"I don't like losing, it's not fun," she said, "but these moments make you stronger. It's definitely not the end of the world.

"I got to the final of a Grand Slam and I have a lot to be proud of."

And the Russian was full of praise for Williams, admitting she had not been able to find an answer to the American's power.

"She played flawless tennis," said the 19-year-old. "I was trying to find ways to get into the match but I wasn't able to do it.

606: DEBATE
ML

"She was serving big and was pretty consistent. We played some good tennis, but didn't have many long rallies because she was aggressive with all her shots, going for them and making most of them.

"I expected her to play well, she's won six matches here and she had no reason not to be confident.

"Her first serve is consistently the biggest in the game. It's definitely her biggest weapon.

"My serving percentage was not good enough. It was a matter of serving well and returning well and I didn't think I did either today."

SEE ALSO
Men's Australian Open draw
13 Jan 07 |  Tennis
Women's Australian Open draw
13 Jan 07 |  Tennis


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