2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

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  • Serena and Sharapova's 'black heart' rivalry
    Serena and Sharapova's 'black heart' rivalry

    The bitter rivalry between Australian Open finalists Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova took root on the hallowed Wimbledon turf in 2004 and is still thriving more than a decade later -- both on and off the court. The problem was, the fairytale victory that catapulted her to global celebrity came at the expense of Serena Williams -- top seed at the time and hot favourite for a third straight Wimbledon title -- a result that the American has never forgotten. It has spurred her on to an overall record of 16-2 against Sharapova, with the Russian's last victory over the world number one coming more than a decade ago. Since 2005, the American's winning streak is 15-0, including straight sets wins over Sharapova in the Australian and French Open finals (2007 and 2013), as well as the gold medal match at the 2012 London Olympics.

  • Dominant Serena beats Sharapova at Australian Open for 19th Slam
    Dominant Serena beats Sharapova at Australian Open for 19th Slam

    Serena Williams won her sixth Australian Open and 19th career Grand Slam with a hard-fought win over bitter rival Maria Sharapova on Saturday, consolidating her place among the game's legends. The 6-3, 7-6 (7/5) triumph means the American world number one overtakes 18-time major champions Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert to go clear second on the all-time Open-era Grand Slam winners' list, three behind Steffi Graf.

  • Serena Williams wins 6th Australian, 19th major title
    Serena Williams wins 6th Australian, 19th major title

    MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Serena Williams won her 19th Grand Slam title, continued her unbeaten run in six Australian Open finals and extended her decade-long domination of Maria Sharapova with a 6-3, 7-6 (5) victory despite a hacking cough on Saturday night.

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