American Serena Williams, ranked 81 in the world, won the Australian Open tennis championship, crushing top seeded Russian Maria Sharapova 6-1, 6-2. It was her eighth Grand Slam singles title. Willaims beat Israel's Shahar Pe'er in the quarter final round of the tournament in three sets. Williams became only the second unseeded woman to win the Australian title in the Open era, coming into the tournament ranked No. 81 after spending most of 2006 on the sidelines with a knee injury.