Joyful Williams proves critics wrong
Serena Williams was joy unconfined on Friday after completing a dramatic victory over Maria Sharapova to reach the final of the Australian Open.
The former world number one, who has had to deal with family tragedy, surgery and tough criticism in recent times, saved three match points to win 2-6, 7-5, 8-6 and exact revenge on the Russian for her defeat in last year's Wimbledon final.
"It's been a tough 12 months and I'm so happy to have won today. I'm so proud of myself," said the American, who plays top seed Lindsay Davenport in the final.
"Those are always the best wins, when you're down match point because it's like you realise that you can't give up. I never give up, but I thought, 'Ok, I definitely don't want to give up now.' "
The close-knit Williams family was hit by tragedy in September 2003 when Yetunde Price, the eldest sister of Serena and Venus Williams, was killed in a shooting incident in Los Angeles.