If we didn’t already know Serena William is one of the greatest tennis players of all time, we might have thought she won her first Grand Slam on Saturday judging from her reaction when she took home the top prize at the Australian Open. The No. 1 seed jumped for joy — multiple times — with a smile as wide as her match-winning ace was fast when she beat No. 2-seeded Maria Sharapova, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5). This was Williams’s sixth win at the Australian Open and 19th Grand Slam victory overall.
“I’m so honored to be here and to hold this 19th trophy,” Williams said (via the Associated Press) after beating her Russian rival in two sets. “I didn’t think it would happen this fast, to be honest, but it feels really good.”
[Related story: Williams beats Sharapova for Australian Open title.]
At 33, Williams has won the second-most Grand Slam titles of any women’s tennis player. The only player in front of her is Steffi Graf, who won 22.
“I would love to get to 22. I mean, 19 was very difficult to get to,” Williams said. “But I have to get to 20 first, and then I have to get to 21. It will be a very big task.”
Williams looks up for it, however. She showed quite a bit of fortitude on Saturday when she played through an illness.
“I had a really bad cough, I ended up throwing up, actually,” Williams said, referring to a time early in the first set when she retreated back to the locker room. “I’ve never done that before. I guess there’s a first time for anything. I think in a way that just helped me — I felt better after that.”
The match was tense throughout the two sets, especially at the end of the second when Williams celebrated twice before actually winning. At one point, the chair umpire even docked Williams a point, calling a hindrance when Williams prematurely celebrated an ace. Williams did not argue — she went on to win instead, jumping in exaltation afterward and tweeting out some heartfelt gratitude to her family.