(Reuters) – Factbox on American Serena Williams, who won her 19th grand slam title with a 6-3 7-6(5) victory over Maria Sharapova at the Australian Open on Saturday:
Born in Michigan on September 26, 1981. (Age: 33)
GRAND SLAM CAREER: 19 wins – Australian Open (2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2015); French Open (2002, 2013); Wimbledon (2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012); U.S. Open (1999, 2002, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014)
* Williams is tied for third on the list of female grand slam title winners.
* Is one of only five women, after Maureen Connolly, Margaret Court, Martina Navratilova and Steffi Graf, to hold all four grand slam titles at same time. The non-calendar year achievement in 2002-03 was dubbed the ‘Serena Slam’. She beat her older sister Venus in each of the four finals.
* She also owns 13 women’s grand slam doubles titles with Venus and has won four Olympic gold medals: Singles (2012), doubles (2000, 2008, 2012).
MAKING HER NAME
* Learned to play the game with older sister Venus in Compton. Both were coached by their father Richard.
* Turned professional in September 1995.
* Won her first WTA Tour title in Paris in 1999, beating Amelie Mauresmo in the final.
* Beat Martina Hingis in the U.S. Open final in 1999, becoming the first African American woman to win a grand slam singles title since Althea Gibson in 1958.
* Failed to make another grand slam final until 2001 when she lost in the U.S. Open final to older sister Venus.
* Missed the 2002 Australian Open with injury then embarked on an incredible run that included winning five of the next six grand slams and losing in the semi-finals of the 2003 French open.
* Career affected by injury over the next four years, winning two Australian Open titles in 2005 and 2007 but failing to advance beyond the quarter-finals at the other three.
* Won U.S. Open in 2008 to break the grand slam drought, having not won a major title since the 2007 Australian open.
* At the 2009 U.S. Open, Williams was fined $175,000 and placed on a two-year probation for unsportsmanlike behaviour in her semi-final loss to Kim Clijsters.
* Joined Billie-Jean King on all-time grand slam list in sixth with 12th grand slam title at 2010 Australian Open.
* She missed the U.S. Open in 2010 because of medical complications after cutting her foot on glass while celebrating her win at Wimbledon.
* In 2011, she underwent surgery after a life-threatening blood clot was detected on her lung. She made the U.S. Open final but lost to Australia’s Sam Stosur.
* Won Wimbledon title in 2012 and followed that up with Olympic gold medal on the same grass courts beating top seed Victoria Azarenka in semi-finals and third seed Maria Sharapova in final.
* Won fourth U.S. Open title in 2012, beating Azarenka in the final.
* Crashed out to teenage compatriot Sloane Stephens in Australian Open quarter-final in 2013 but rebounded to claim her second Roland Garros title, one of 10 titles she wins that year to reclaim world top ranking.
* Knocked out early in 2014 Australian Open, but claims seven titles, including her sixth U.S. Open, which is her third in succession, to join compatriots Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova on 18 grand slam wins.
2015 AUSTRALIAN OPEN
* Had a terrible buildup to the Australian Open, losing two matches in the exhibition-style Hopman Cup and was not playing well.
* Stated she was not at her best and had adopted a new mantra to just go and have fun.
* Struggled against Vera Zvonareva and Elina Svitolina before she faced Spain’s hard-hitting Garbine Muguruza, where a fan tells her to use more spin to beat the 24th seed.
* Destroyed last year’s beaten finalist Dominika Cibulkova in quarter-finals and was pushed hard by teenage compatriot Madison Keys in the semi-finals before making her first final since 2010.
* Used her powerful serve to beat Sharpova in a one hour, 51 minute final.
* Slammmed down her 18th ace to seal the win.
(Compiled by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Ed Osmond)