Brilliant Sharapova wins Australian Open

Maria Sharapova has won the Australian Open, beating Serbia's Anna Ivanovic in a thrilling final in Melbourne. It's the twenty-year-old Russian star's third Grand Slam title. Sharapova won Wimbledon in 2004 and the U.S. Open in 2006.

She beat Ivanovic 7-5 6-3 in a tense women's final on a sweltering centre court in Melbourne Park. The victory makes amends for Sharapova's defeat to Serena Williams in  last year's final.

After the match an emotional Sharapova said she handled the pressure well and took her chances.

“This is just incredible. If someone had told me in the middle of last year I would be standing here in front of you with the big one I would never have believed you,” she said.

Along with the title Sharapova gets a cheque for $US 10.3 million.

Sharapova needs only the French Open title to complete her set of grand slams.