Atlanta, GA (CNN) — Serena Williams powered her way to the French Open title Saturday with a straight sets victory over defending champion Maria Sharapova of Russia.
The top seed from the United States ran out a 6-4 6-4 winner in one hour 46 minutes to clinch her 16th grand slam crown.
Sharapova put up a brave fight but could not prevent Williams from claiming her first French Open title since her maiden triumph in 2002.
The 26-year-old had not beaten her American opponent since 2004 and despite taking a 2-0 lead the found Williams an irresistible force.
Serving for the match, Williams took the first of two championship points, clinching it with a thunderous ace, her 10th of a gripping final.
"I was so nervous, I'm just happy to be champion," she told the crowd on the Phillipe Chatrier Court, speaking in French.
"I played a great tournament and ran into a really tough champions today," said the beaten Sharapova.