MIAMI: World No. 1 Serena Williams rallied to defeat world No. 2 Maria Sharapova 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 on Saturday in the WTA Miami final, winning the event for a record sixth time to claim her 48th career tour title.

Williams, who had shared the all-time Miami women's title mark with Steffi Graf, won the last 10 games in adding to a trophy haul that included crowns in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2008 and runner-up efforts in 1999 and 2009.

It was the 11th match victory in a row for Williams over Sharapova, coming in their first meeting as the top two players in the world rankings, and gave the 31-year-old American a 12-2 edge in their all-time rivalry.

But Sharapova took a set off Williams for the first time since 2008 and was up a break in the second set before the reigning Olympic, Wimbledon and US Open champion roared back and breaking the Russian in her last five service games.

Williams became only the fourth woman in the modern era to win the same
event six times, joining Graf, Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova. Graf's husband, Andre Agassi, won the Miami men's title six times.

Williams, a 15-time Grand Slam singles champion, also became the oldest
women's champion in Miami history, four months older than Evert when the legend won here in 1986 at 31 years and two months of age.

Sharapova, 25, suffered her fifth championship-match loss at Miami and still looks for her first Miami title after having been denied a 29th career WTA triumph.
The $8.5 million hardcourt event, which also includes an ATP Masters tournament, concludes Sunday with Britain's Andy Murray facing Spaniard David Ferrer in the men's final.(AFP)