Serena Williams overcame more than a lull in the middle of the women’s championship match at All England Club today to pull out her fifth Wimbledon title, 6-1, 7-5, 6-2 – a triumph over Agnieszka Radwanska that solidifies her as the premier women’s tennis player of her era, eclipsing even sister, Venus, who also have five Wimbledon championships.
She also overcame two foot surgeries, a blood clot and what she called a bout of depression so severe she did not want to get off of her couch.
But she got better, and better to where she now has her 14th major championship.
“It had been so long and I’ve been fighting for so long,” she said. “It wasn’t a great journey. What doesn’t kill you will definitely make you stronger. . . (At one point), I didn’t even think about playing tennis again. I just wanted to live.”
This title came behind her brilliant and powerful serve and a will that proved too much to overcome for Radwanska. For the tournament, Williams had a record 101 aces – and she showed a deft touch when needed, too.
“Serene was just too good,” Radwanska said.
She was not good all the time, though. Williams breezed through the first set, 6-1, showing all the power and skill that marked her brilliant career. She was up 4-2 in the second set, and seemed destined for the title. But, suddenly, she lost her momentum and Radwanska gained a measure of confidence. Williams had a series of unforced errors lost the set, 7-5.
“I just lost everything mentally,” Williams said. “I just lost everything. Well, not everything, but mentally, I lost it. I wasn’t relaxed.”
But just as suddenly as she lost it, Williams regained it in the decisive set. Tied at two games each, Williams displayed the power in her serve that was the difference. She blasted four straight aces to win the game and take a 3-2 lead.
Then she broke Radwanska’s serve to take command of the match. And once she regained her emotional chord, she was on her way.
She was ready to celebrate, but said it would not come until after she and Venus – who, together, have won 10 of the last 13 Wimbledon titles — played for the doubles championship later today.