Breaking News

First U.S. Ebola case confirmed September 30, 2014

0

Serena rolls to 13th major

Photo by Mike Phillips

Photo by Mike Phillips

WIMBLEDON, England -- For the ninth time in 11 years, the name "Williams" was etched on the green board inside the All England Club that lists the champions of the world's most famous tennis tournament.

Serena Williams pointed gleefully as her name was unveiled Saturday next to the year 2010 -- her fourth title at Wimbledon and 13th Grand Slam championship.

She counted the names: Serena, four times; sister Venus, five.

Serena extended the family dominance by overpowering 21st-seeded Russian Vera Zvonareva 6-3, 6-2 in a one-sided final that lasted just 67 minutes and showed why Williams is considered one of the greatest players of all time.

Williams, who improved her record to 13-3 in Grand Slam finals, added to the Wimbledon titles she won in 2002, 2003 and 2009. However, this was the first time she defeated someone other than Venus in the final.

Venus, who beat Serena in 2008, was upset in the quarterfinals this week, preventing a fifth all-sister final.

"I'm just glad that I was able to win, especially (after) Venus lost," Serena said. "I really wanted a Williams sister to go ahead and win it. Eleven years consistent is really cool."

That's something the sisters won't be able to ignore back home in Florida.

"Now everywhere we look there's another Wimbledon trophy," Williams said. Then she rolled her eyes and added with a smile, "Not another one of those again."

After converting an overhead smash to finish the match, Williams tossed her racket away, bent backward, looked to the sky, shook her fists and screamed. She looked over at her family and friends in the guest box and flashed her fingers to indicate No. 13.

"I thought, "I hope I get the number right,"' she said. "You know me, I tend to forget."

Williams served nine aces, broke three times and never faced a break point in nine service games. She finished the tournament without dropping a set.

Williams, who has won five of the last eight major tournaments, moved ahead of Billie Jean King into sole possession of sixth place on the all-time list of women's Grand Slam champions with 13, the most of any active woman player. Williams also has five Australian Open titles, three U.S. Open wins and one at the French Open.

After accepting the Venus Rosewater Dish from the Duke of Kent with a curtsy, Williams turned to King, who was sitting in the Royal Box.

"Hey, Billie -- I got you," she said. "This is No. 13 for me now. It's just amazing to able to be among such great people."

King grinned and applauded.

"That's actually my lucky number," Williams said of 13.

Margaret Smith Court leads the Grand Slam list with 24 titles, followed by Steffi Graf with 22, Helen Wills Moody with 19 and Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert with 18 each.

Williams said she wasn't thinking about catching the greats ahead of her or establishing her place in history.

"I'm happy to win 13," she said. "You never know what tomorrow brings. I'm happy to have gotten this far. Who would have thought? It just takes a dream and a little work effort. ... I'm just trying to be Serena, that's all that I can be."

But King has no doubt how far Williams can go.

"She can be the greatest ever if she keeps going," King said.

Navratilova also believes Williams has many more Grand Slams ahead of her.

"At the rate she's going, she certainly may catch me and Chris and Helen Wills Moody and who knows, maybe even Steffi," Navratilova said. "She's just head and shoulders above everybody else, and those are pretty broad shoulders she's got."

Posing for photographers, Serena held the trophy on the balcony above the club entrance, then walked through the entrance and twirled and skipped while still holding the trophy as military personnel stationed in the lobby applauded.

"I was really feeling Frank Sinatra-ish, "Come Fly With Me, Fly Me To The Moon,"' she said. "This old-style dance. That's what I felt like at the moment."

Williams graciously congratulated Zvonareva, who played in her first Grand Slam final and was the second-lowest ranked women's finalist ever at Wimbledon.

"Everyone should give her a big round of applause," Williams said. "She defines what being a champion and never giving up means."

Zvonareva didn't look intimidated and kept close early in the match, but the contest swung in Williams' favor when she broke for a 5-3 lead in the first set.

Williams squandered her first break point with a return error, but then hit a perfect backhand lob at deuce to set up another. This time, she ripped a running forehand passing shot down the line, and celebrated by dropping onto her right knee and pumping her left fist.

Williams broke again to open the second set and went ahead 4-1 when Zvonareva double-faulted on the third break point of the game.

"I think I'm a little bit disappointed at the moment," Zvonareva said. "Maybe I was not able to show my best today, but I think Serena just didn't allow me to show my best."

Despite the score, Zvonareva claimed Williams was beatable.

"She's a human being. She's not a machine," the Russian said. "It's very difficult to beat her. You have to play your best. But if you do, you can do it."

As has been the case throughout the two-week tournament, Williams' big serve was the dominant factor on Saturday.

Williams won 31 of 33 points when her first serve was good. She hit her fastest serve -- 122 mph -- for an ace in the final game. She finished the tournament with a record 89 aces.

"I honestly never served like this," Williams said. "At Wimbledon, whenever I come on this grass and play on this amazing court I start serving well."

The men's final will be played Sunday, with No. 1-ranked Rafael Nadal going for his second Wimbledon title and eighth Grand Slam overall against 12th-seeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic.