Serena Williams is back on top at Wimbledon after beating Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska today, helping her erase two years of frustration with a win for the ages.
Williams beat Radwanska 6-1, 5-7, 6-2 for her 14th career Grand Slam title and her fifth at Wimbledon, equaling her sister Venus’s total.
She also becomes the first woman to win a Grand Slam after the age of 30 since Martina Navratilova won at the All England Club in 1990 at age 33.
Not bad for an athlete in a sport often dominated by teenagers; not bad considering the 30-year-old American underwent four surgeries in the last two years.
After winning Wimbledon in 2010 – her last Grand Slam – Williams cut her foot so badly on glass at a German restaurant that she needed two surgeries to repair a damaged tendon.
Doctors also removed a blood clot from her lungs, and then a grapefruit-sized hematoma from her stomach, USA Today reported.
‘‘I can’t even describe it. I almost didn’t make it,’’ Williams said, according to The Associated Press. ‘‘A few years ago, you know, I was in the hospital, and now I'm here again. It’s so worth it, and I'm so happy.’’
She appeared ready to challenge for the world’s number-1 ranking again this season before losing in the first round at the French Open, the only time she’s ever lost that early in a Grand Slam.
That appears to be all behind her now, with an often-dominating performance during the fortnight.
She set a record for most aces in a match (23) against Zheng Jie earlier in the tourney, then broke that mark in her semifinal against Victoria Azarenka (24).
Radwanska, 23, was trying to become the first Polish tennis player – man or woman – to win a major championship.
She’s praised for her defense and skill, but she couldn’t counterpunch against the powerful Williams for the entire match.
“Aggie played so well and that’s why she’s had such a great career, and she’s so young,” Williams said of her opponent, BBC reported.
Radwanska was also recovering from a respiratory infection that caused coughing attacks and made it difficult to speak, USA Today said.
She cancelled her press conference on Friday.
“I’m still shaking so much — I think I had the best two weeks of my life,” Radwanska said after the match, her voice compromised by emotion and illness.
Serena and Venus williams have won 10 of the last 13 Wimbledon titles.
They team up later today for the women's doubles final.