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Serena Williams wins fourth Wimbledon to increase Grand Slam haul to 13 titles

WIMBLEDON, England — Getting set to accept her latest Wimbledon trophy, Serena Williams lifted both arms and held aloft 10 fingers. Then, raising only her right hand, she wiggled three more fingers, bringing the total count to 13.

That's how many Grand Slam singles titles Williams owns as of Saturday.

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

With a superb serve, and plenty of offense and defense to back it up, the No. 1-ranked Williams overwhelmed No. 21 Vera Zvonareva of Russia 6-3, 6-2 in the women's final to win her fourth Wimbledon title and, yes, 13th major overall.

That's the most among active women and gives Williams sole possession of sixth place on the all-time list, breaking a tie with her former U.S. Fed Cup captain, Billie Jean King. Addressing King, who was in the front row of the Royal Box, Williams said: "Hey, Billie, I got you! This is No. 13 for me now. It's just amazing to able to be among such great people."

The American did not drop a set over two dominant weeks.

She has won five of the past eight Grand Slam tournaments, including two in a row at Wimbledon, where she also was champion in 2002-03. Williams, 28, and her older sister, Venus, 30, have won nine of the past 11 titles at the grasscourt Grand Slam.

"Everywhere we look, there's another Wimbledon trophy," Serena Williams said, rolling her eyes. "I'm, like, 'Ugh, not one of those again.' "

Williams was kidding, of course. Maybe she also was joking when she said Friday that she would prepare for the final by relaxing and watching the TV show Desperate Housewives. In the end, her victory over Zvonareva lasted only slightly longer than an episode — 67 minutes — and was rather short on drama.

Both women hit the ball with plenty of force from the baseline, and after 21 minutes they were tied at 3-all. Zvonareva was hanging in despite being the second-lowest-ranked woman to play in a Wimbledon final.

Then, turning it on, Williams reeled off eight of the next nine games to seize control and add to her collection of championships, which includes five Australian Opens, three U.S. Opens and one French Open.

So where does Williams rank among the best women's tennis players through the years?

"Top five," answered Martina Navratilova, tied for fourth on the all-time majors list with 18. "It's not just about how many Slams you win or how many tournaments you win — it's just your game overall. And she's definitely got all the goods."

Of all her skills, Williams' serve is the most impressive. She pounded serves at up to 122 mph and hit nine aces Saturday, taking her tournament total to a Wimbledon-record 89, 17 more than the mark she established last year. It's not just speed; Williams varies angles, spins, spots.

"She always changes it," Zvonareva said.

Williams never faced a break point and won 31 of 33 points when her first serve went in.

As the match became increasingly lopsided, Zvonareva began to unravel. When she double-faulted to fall behind 4-1, she angrily smacked a ball before heading to the sideline. In the next game, she slapped her left thigh with a palm and whacked her right thigh with her racket.

"I did not show my best (Saturday), and it's a bit disappointing, because it's the final," Zvonareva said. "You know, you don't reach the Wimbledon final every day."

As Williams walked through the All England Club carrying the champion's plate, she spun around and kicked up her heels.

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

Match stats

Williams Zvonareva

66 1st serve pct. 75

9 Aces 4

3 Double faults 2

15 Unforced errors 11

94 1st serve winning pct. 63

41 2nd serve winning pct. 36

29 Winners 9

3-7 Break points 0-0

14-14 Net points 6-12

62 Total points won 43

Time of match: 1 hour, 7 minutes

Fast facts

All-time women's majors titles

Margaret Smith Court 24

Steffi Graf22

Helen Wills Moody 19

Chris Evert 18

Martina Navratilova 18

Serena Williams 13

Billie Jean King 12

Maureen Connolly 9

Monica Seles 9

Suzanne Lenglen 8

Molla Mallory 8

Source: Associated Press

Serena Williams wins fourth Wimbledon to increase Grand Slam haul to 13 titles 07/03/10 [Last modified: Saturday, July 3, 2010 9:58pm]
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