News24

Serena wins fifth Wimbledon

2012-07-07 17:38

Wimbledon -  American Serena Williams powered her way to a fifth Wimbledon singles title with an explosive start and a cool finish after a mid-match meltdown to beat Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1 5-7 6-2 on Saturday.

The 30-year-old, contesting her seventh Wimbledon singles final, blew her nervous opponent off court in the first set but after a short rain interruption was then forced to go toe-to-toe with the Pole before reeling off the last five games.

After pounding away a backhand winner after just over two hours to end Radwanska's brave resistance and secure a 14th grand slam singles title, Williams collapsed backwards to the court before climbing through the crowd to hug father Richard and the rest of her entourage.

"I can't even describe it," an emotional Williams, who suffered serious health issues after cutting her foot and was out for a year since winning her fourth title in 2010, said in an on-court interview after collecting the trophy her older sister Venus has also lifted five times.

"I almost didn't make it a few years ago. I was in hospital but now I'm here again and it was so worth it. I'm so happy.

"Just never give up, you can continue. Thank you, guys in the box today, daddy, mum - I can't name everyone one but thank you from the bottom of my heart."

Victory made her the oldest women's singles winner since Martina Navratilova won the title in 1990, aged 33.

It looked like being a breeze for Williams as she took the opening five games and romped through the first set in 36 minutes against a clearly nervous Radwanska, who was contesting her first grand slam final.

Radwanska finally got on the scoreboard in the sixth game to sympathetic applause from the Centre Court crowd but it only delayed the inevitable.

A short rain delay interrupted the match but when the players returned, Williams moved a break ahead in the second set before Radwanska suddenly came to the party.

With Williams looking anxious, Radwanska broke back to level at 4-4 and then moved 6-5 ahead on serve.

Williams sent a backhand long to give Radwanska two set points and another error allowed the Pole to take the match into a deciding set - an achievement in itself after looking completely overwhelmed early on.

As dark clouds closed in on Centre Court, Williams looked in trouble at 1-2 in the final set but she regained her composure.

She made it 2-2 with four consecutive aces in a 49-second burst and then broke serve in the next game when Radwanska sent a backhand long. She broke again two games later with a delicate forehand drop shot as she moved in on victory.

Serving for the match at 5-2 she cracked down yet another ace, her 102nd of the tournament, then powered in another unreturnable serve before finishing off with a backhand winner.

Radwanska, Poland's first grand slam finalist since Jadwiga Jedrzejowska in 1939, will rise to number two in the WTA rankings after a memorable fortnight.

She was overcome with emotion at the end.

"I think I had the best two weeks of my life," Radwanska, who had been suffering with a respiratory illness before the match, said on court. "She was too good today but I'm just so happy to be here in the final.

"I think it was not my day but I'll try again next year."

Reuters

Comments
  • jimzimbo - 2012-07-07 17:45

    How very sad.....

      Rob - 2012-07-08 09:12

      That Serena is one tough looking guy !

  • landi.coetzee.5 - 2012-07-07 17:48

    i dont want 2 b rude, i am just very excited!! but all you serena haters, go play on the high way or on the train tracks!!! She did it!!!!!!!!!!! Well played girl!! There was a rough patch, but well played!!! (still love you all even if you dont like serena!) just so happy 4 her!!!! You did it girl!!

      peter.t.solomon - 2012-07-07 19:39

      Very well said Landi

  • delish7564 - 2012-07-07 17:54

    Shame, I was hoping the Polish girl would win especially since Serena has won once or twice before :)

  • wayne.hardaker.3 - 2012-07-07 17:58

    I thought the men's final was tomorrow?

      peter.t.solomon - 2012-07-07 19:41

      Jealousy

      Tankiso Mogoje - 2012-07-07 20:31

      I thought Wayne is a man's name?

      wayne.hardaker.3 - 2012-07-07 20:36

      WOW Tankiso, awesome comeback!! After the way she treated the official at the 2009 US open, she doesn't deserve to win anything.

      Saleé - 2012-07-08 00:44

      @wayne.hardaker.3, I am sure that the official, being a true lover of the sport, does not share your sentiments. Some people can rise above pettiness. Try and do the same. You'll be a better girl for it (I cannot imagine you are a man).

      pierre.devilliers.9231 - 2012-07-08 04:20

      @Wayne - you must really hate McEnroe...

  • bradley.ruiters.12 - 2012-07-07 18:01

    There was only one female playing this match, and it wasn't the winner.

      frans.vanderpoll - 2012-07-07 18:07

      Serena Semenya!

      millionwatts1 - 2012-07-07 18:10

      The Polish 'girl' has rolls like the Michelin guy.

      Saleé - 2012-07-08 00:48

      @bradley.ruiters.12, it's not Serena's fault you feel inadequate as a man. If you didn't feel inadequate, you'd have no doubt about her being all woman.

  • millionwatts1 - 2012-07-07 18:07

    It must be tough not liking the Williams girls to win if you consider they won 10 of the last 13 Wimbledon finals. ( I didn't even include the doubles there)

      delish7564 - 2012-07-07 18:15

      You can admire someone's talent without liking them, after all, it wouldn't do if we all liked the same people now would it?

      millionwatts1 - 2012-07-07 18:17

      I get your point I doubt you got mine though.

      delish7564 - 2012-07-07 19:15

      Yes, actually I do get your point second time round :)

      Saleé - 2012-07-08 00:50

      I doubt Serena wants anything other than having her talent admired. After all, she does have a massive and talented family to like her.

  • veldt66 - 2012-07-07 18:08

    She was excellent, well deserved. At the end when she spoke about her life threatening illness tears rolled

  • Ditiro - 2012-07-07 18:31

    congrats Serena beautiful black sister, when we queried why your picture was not on the wimbeldon beauties white people called a gorilla, ugly, monster all sorts of horrible, deragotory names without any reasonable reason as usual, white priviledges days are numbered in SA i suggest you pack up and leave while you still have time

      landi.coetzee.5 - 2012-07-07 19:15

      hey you!! dont u come here and say that white people said that of Serena! i am a HUGE fan of Serena and Venus Williams and im a white SA lady!! What you said is almost the same as if i would say that all blacks are criminals! Which is not true i know!! Dont compare me 2 other white people!! Im the biggest Serena Williams fan that you will find and i think she is a beautifull woman!! Oh yes and dont forget about Sloane Stephens, i adore her aswell! May God bless you!

      delish7564 - 2012-07-07 19:17

      Why did you have to bring race into this.........beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

      landi.coetzee.5 - 2012-07-07 19:20

      you preaching to the choir delish7564!! got your back Jack! dont know why race and culture always have to be brought into EVERYTHING!!!!

  • konanani.rachicoper - 2012-07-07 18:42

    Ooh yeah!

  • gunner.zn.5 - 2012-07-07 20:50

    Well done Serena..just too good. Go Roger

  • Ditiro - 2012-07-07 21:29

    @Xolani defending white people why didnt you defend Serena when her nature of being black was insulted to no end, its people like you that make me sick you so quick to reply to my comment right at the bottom but fail to reply to those comment before mine from white people calling Serena a man, serena semenya, ect why do you have the need to suck up to white people over you own,

      sazi.ndlela.71 - 2012-07-08 07:52

      well done Ditiro. these useless whites have no respect for our being. in every article they always throw racist comment e.g. they sympathise with the lady actor who tried to commit suicide and got herself fired but on another article when a blackman who was gored to death by cow while milking, they made a mockery of it. say it as it without fear my brother, if it means we have to go backwards fighting racism so let it be.

      Ditiro - 2012-07-08 10:41

      Sazi thats why as black people we need to stick together, i used to laugh at tribal jokes about Xhosas, Sothos, Zulus,Vendas, Twanas, Pedis ect till i realised that though they are jokes but three is this unseen division that are we are creating as black people and that we can never be united as one if we keep on driving this "tribal jokes"

      Jesse Palmer - 2012-07-09 00:32

      @Xolani se gat!

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