Wimbledon - Superb Serena defends title
World number one Serena Williams won her fourth Wimbledon title with a commanding 6-3 6-2 win over Russian 21st seed Vera Zvonareva.
The defending champion needed just 66 minutes to end Zvonareva's hopes of winning her first Grand Slam final, the American sealing victory on her first match point with a forehand smash down the line.
The win ensured Williams moved ahead of Billie Jean King, with 13 Grand Slam titles, to go sixth on the all-time list.
"This one is very special. Billie Jean, I got you," Williams told her compatriot who was watching on from the Royal Box.
"I'd like to congratulate Vera, she has been through so much and she defines what being a champion and never giving up means."
Zvonareva made a bright start to the clash, holding with ease in her first couple of services games as a slightly nervy Williams battled to find her range.
But the longer the match went on the more it favoured the top seed, who began to hold serve with increasing ease.
Coming into the match Williams had already hit a record 80 aces in the tournament and once again it was her first serve that proved so crucial; the American fired a further nine aces in the final, winning 94 per cent of points behind her first serve as Zvonareva struggled to get a look in.
In comparison Zvonareva served accurately but without sufficient power, getting three-quarters of her first serves in - but winning less than two-thirds of the points when she did so.
Williams earned herself the first break points of the match in the sixth game, but the Russian - who will return to the top 10 on Monday despite the defeat - saved the chance with a cross court forehand before going on to hold and stick with her opponent.
Williams raced through another service hold, however, and a double fault from the Russian in the eighth game gave the American a chance to force deuce before a tricky backhand lob earned her another break point.
And this the American made no mistake securing the break, pulling out a phenomenal forehand passing shot down the line whilst on the run.
Williams quickly earned herself set points and, although Zvonareva managed to save two, the Russian then sent a backhand wide across court to bring the first set to an end.
With the momentum firmly behind her, Williams quickly broke in the opening game of the second set when a panicked Zvonareva dumped a high forehand approach shot into the bottom of the net.
From there it was all Williams as she raced through a service hold to consolidate her lead before again breaking the Zvonareva serve in the fifth game, when the Russian double faulted once again.
Credit should go to Zvonareva as she recovered her nerve to hold to 15 and force Williams to serve out the match.
But with Williams having dropped serve just three times in the whole tournament, she had little trouble in completing the win, which saw her lift her second Grand Slam title of the year after the Australian Open.
"Congratulations, you're a great player but also a great champion," Zvonareva told her conqueror in an emotional courtside interview.
"You showed great determination throughout the week and you deserved to win today."