Serena Williams admitted she was relieved to have secured a historic sixth Wimbledon crown after surviving a fierce fightback from Garbine Muguruza in Saturday’s final.
Williams twice squandered the chance to seal the title in a nerve-jangling finale on Centre Court as the Spanish 20th seed broke back when trailing 5-1 and 5-3 in the second set.
Muguruza had earlier rocked the 33-year-old American by storming into a 4-2 lead in the first set and Serena had to summon all her power and poise before finally seeing off the Grand Slam final debutant 6-4, 6-4.
“It feels so good. Garbine played so well. I didn’t even know it was over because she was fighting so hard at the end,” Williams said.
“There was definitely pressure towards the end. Garbine started playing really well and I just had to think to stay out there and work really hard.
“She will be holding this trophy very, very soon. I am happy it was such a great match.”
The 21st Grand Slam title of her career secured a host of historic landmarks for Williams.
She is the oldest woman to win a major title and the first to hold all four Grand Slams at the same time since she last achieved that rare feat in 2002-03.
If she successfully defends the US Open title in August she will become the first woman since Steffi Graf in 1988 to win a calendar Grand Slam.
Serena had banned talk of her legacy-defining achievements throughout the tournament.
But the American was finally happy to talk milestones before walking off court with a broad grin as she balanced the Venus Rosewater Dish on her head.
“I can’t believe I am standing here with another Serena Slam. It is so cool,” she said.
“I am having so much fun out on the court. Everyday is a pleasure to be playing and winning Wimbledon.
“It has been a pleasure and an honour to give so many years in this unbelievable place.”
While Muguruza’s bid to become the first Spanish woman to win Wimbledon since 1994 ended in disappointment, the big-hitting 21-year-old’s impressive display suggests she is now set to become a fixture at the business end of major tournament.
“I enjoyed it a lot. I don’t have words to say how I feel. I’m very proud and happy to be here,” Muguruza said.
“A Grand Slam final for me is a dream come true and I also want to say congrats to Serena, showing that she’s world number one.”

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