Tennis great Serena Williams cherished her long-road back as she captured her fifth Wimbledon Singles Championship in Wimbledon, England.
Williams was dominant at the start and finish, beating Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland 6-1,5-7,6-2 to win a fifth championship at the All England Club and 14th major title overall, ending a two-year drought.
The high point came on Centre Court at Wimbledon, when Williams dropped down to the grass, hands covering her face. She was all the way back, a Grand Slam champion yet again.
“I just remember being on the couch and I didn’t leave the whole day, for two day,” Williams said. “I was praying, like, I can’t take any more. I’ve endured enough. Let me be able to get through this! It’s been an unbelievable journey for me.”
And for Serena Williams, it truly has. Tears flowed during the trophy ceremony and she squeezed her parents and sister very tightly during the post-victory hugs. Her sister Venus , has won five Wimbledon titles of her own. Not bad for a young lady who learned to play the game of tennis on the public courts in Compton, California.
The sisters also added their fifth Wimbledon doubles championship on Saturday night, teaming up to beat Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka 7-5, 6-4.
In 2011, Serena Williams spent hours laying around her home, overwhelmed by a depressing series of health scares that sent her to the hospital repeatedly and kept her away from tennis for 10 months.
It was only a few days after winning Wimbledon in 2010, and that’s when things started to shift. Serena Williams cut both of her feet on a broken glass while leaving a restaurant in Germany. She needed two operations on her right foot. Then she got blood clots in her lungs, for which she needed to inject herself with a blood thinner.
Those shots led to a pool of blood gathering under her stomach’s skin, requiring another procedure. This was when she realized just how much she really loved the game.
“You never appreciate anything until you almost lose it,” Williams stated. Against Radwanska, who was trying to become the first Polish Grand Slam singles champion, Williams was streaky at times, but also superb. She won the first five games and the last five. She compiled a 58-13 landslide of winners. She swatted 17 aces, including four in one game to pull even at 2-all in the third set. That was part of a momentum-swinging run in which Williams claimed 15 of 18 points, and that quartet of aces raised her total for the fortnight to a tournament-record 102, surpassing her own mark of 89 in 2010.
Just for a moment, it looked like the game might slip away. After she breezed through the first set, rain arrived, causing a delay of about 20 minutes between sets.
Radwanska quickly fell behind 3-1 in the second set before making her stand. He played her usual steady game, and Williams began racking up errors. A string of mistakesswinging volley into the net, double-fault, backhand long, backhand into the net- let Radwanska break to even match at one set a piece. What appeared to be a rather drab final, suddenly became interesting.
Williams regained control down the stretch. She won a 16-stroke point with a forehand putaway to get to break point, then went up 3-2 by smacking a big return that left Radwanska running backhand.
Known for her powerful serves and groundstrokes, Williams also showed off a deft touch, the sort of thing Radwanska specializes in. Ahead 4-2, Williams earned a second break with a well-disguised forehand drop shot, then raised both arms.
It was a moment for the ages, and one that truly showed the true perserverance of one of the world’s greatest tennis players.