Serena Williams relief at gritty Wimbledon success
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."