On the men's side Wednesday night, Novak Djokovic was overpowering as he beat Canadian
In the other men's semifinal, sixth-seeded Andy Murray beat No. 7 Tomas Berdych 6-7 (6), 6-0, 6-3, 7-5 in a semifinal littered with flashes of anger Thursday night. Murray, winless in his previous three appearances in the Aussie Open final, will face either Djokovic or defending champion Stan Wawrinka.
The 19-year-old Keys, playing in her first Grand Slam semifinal, saved seven match points on serve in a penultimate game that lasted more than 11 minutes. Williams kept her cool, wasting one match point on her serve before closing with an ace to reach her 23rd major final.
"She pushed me really hard the first set and I had to really dig deep mentally to get through that," Williams said, pausing to cough. "It was a little frustrating, I had like nine or 10 match points and couldn't close it out. That doesn't happen so much. She played like she didn't have anything to lose."
Sharapova, who beat No. 10-seeded
"I think my confidence should be pretty high going into a final of a Grand Slam no matter who I'm facing and whether I've had a terrible record, to say the least, against someone," Sharapova said. "It doesn't matter. I got there for a reason. I belong in that spot. I will do everything I can to get the title."
Williams, an 18-time major winner, is back in the final at Melbourne for the first time since winning her fifth Australian Open title in 2010.