Serena Williams fights back to triumph in Miami
The world No. 1 dropped the opening set 6-4, but rallied to take the second 6-3 and romp to the final one 6-0 to secure a sixth crown, putting her one ahead of Steffi Graf.
"Maria definitely pushed me - she did a really great job today," Williams admitted to after the match. "It's so good to be No. 6 now. I mean... the sixth time. Oh gosh."
While Williams enjoys more success at this event, Sharapova suffers further heartache as the Russian finishes a runner-up for the fifth time, and is beaten for the first time in 12 matches after winning the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells before arriving to Miami.
"It's been a really nice month," Sharapova said. "It's disappointing to end it like this but Serena played a great match, and I'm sure we'll play a few more times this year."
Williams continues her dominance over Sharapova, making it 11 victories on the spin against the world No. 2 and improving her tremendous head-to-head record to 12-2.
Heading into the final both players were on fine form, with Sharapova too powerful for Jelena Jankovic in the semi-finals and Williams blowing Agnieszka Radwanska in the other last-four encounter.
But with such a terrible overall record against Williams, Sharapova knew she had to hit the ground running in the final, which she did by securing the first break of serve in the fifth game. However, Williams hit back and levelled the contest, but could not do anything to stop Sharapova from securing a second service break at a crucial time in the set.
Sharapova moved 5-4 in front following unforced errors from Williams, and then clinched the opening set by holding to love.
Williams, the current Wimbledon and US Open champion, opened up a 2-0 advantage at the beginning of the second set. Sharapova thwarted the American and won three games in a row to turn the set in her favour.
At 4-3 in front Williams came back from 40-15 down to break Sharapova in the eighth game, and went on to square the match at one set all to force a decider.
In the first set Williams was spraying forehands wide and making uncharacteristic errors, but in the final set she was fully on her game, and her dominance over Sharapova continued as she produced a deadly display of hitting to record a bagel and get her hands on the trophy.