Serena Williams stuck out a fist in mock triumph and mouthed “C’mon,” careful not to push her point too far.
The 33-year-old Williams was closing in on her 19th Grand Slam singles title, her 16th straight win over Maria Sharapova and her sixth Australian Open championship when she was docked a point by the chair umpire for hindrance – for yelling in celebration too early when she thought she’d hit a service winner.
She didn’t let that, or another early celebration on match point, or a hacking cough that made her sick, become distractions. Instead, Williams maintained her composure to beat Sharapova 6-3, 7-6 (5) on Saturday night to continue her 100 percent record in finals at Melbourne Park and move closer to Steffi Graf’s record of 22 major titles in the Open era.
“I got too excited and I hit a great serve … I didn’t expect her to get it back,” Williams explained of the hindrance call in the seventh game of the second set. “I said, `C’mon’, a little too soon. I guess there’s a rule that you can’t do it. So I’m fine with it. I moved on very fast to the next point; just tried to stay as focused as I could.”