Sunday, December 17, 2017
Sports

Serena Williams wins fifth Wimbledon title

WIMBLEDON, England — For Serena Williams, the low point came in early 2011, when she spent hours lying 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.

The high point came Saturday on Centre Court at Wimbledon, when Williams dropped to the grass, hands covering her face. She was all the way back, a Grand Slam champion yet again.

Her serve as good as there is, her grit as good as ever, Williams was dominant at the start and finish, beating Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1, 5-7, 6-2 to win a fifth singles title at the All England Club and 14th major title overall, ending a two-year drought.

"I just remember, I was on the couch, and I didn't leave the whole day, for two days. I was just over it. I was praying, like, 'I can't take any more. I've endured enough. Let me be able to get through this,' " recalled Williams, whose ranking slid to 175th after a fourth-round loss at the All England Club last year, her second tournament back.

"Coming here and winning today is amazing. It's been an unbelievable journey for me."

That's why tears flowed and she hugged her parents and older sister Venus, who has five Wimbledon titles of her own. This pair of siblings now accounts for 10 of the past 13 Wimbledon singles trophies. They added their fifth Wimbledon doubles title in the evening, beating Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka 7-5, 6-4.

"(Serena) hasn't had an easy road," Venus said. "For her to fight through that and come back and be a champion — it was definitely emotional."

A few days after winning Wimbledon in 2010, Serena cut both feet on broken glass at restaurant. She needed two operations on her right foot. Then she got blood clots in her lungs, for which she needed injections of a blood thinner. Those shots led to a pool of blood gathering under her stomach's skin, requiring another procedure.

"That made her realize where her life was, really, and where she really belonged and that she really loved the game," said Williams' mother, Oracene Price.

Against Radwanska, aiming to be the first Polish Grand Slam singles champion and ascend to No. 1 in the rankings, Williams was streaky 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 at 114 mph, 107 mph, 115 mph, 111 mph in one game to pull even at 2-all in the third set. That was part of a run in which she won 15 of 18 points. Her ace total climbed to a tournament-record 102, surpassing her mark of 89 in 2010.

"So many aces," said Radwanska, 23, whose two-week total was 16, "and I couldn't do much about it."

After a 20-minute rain delay between the first two sets, Radwanska, ill with respiratory trouble, rallied a bit. But Williams regained control down the stretch.

Radwanska will be No. 2 in the rankings behind Victoria Azarenka today.

At 30, Williams is the oldest women's major singles champion since Martina Navratilova won Wimbledon in 1990 at 33. Asked what more she could want, Williams replied: "Are you kidding? The U.S. Open. The Australian Open. The French Open. Wimbledon 2013."

Comments
Jets turn tables on Blues at home

Jets turn tables on Blues at home

WINNIPEG, Manitoba — Connor Hellebuyck was happy to have a hand in helping the Jets get some payback. Less that 24 hours after Winnipeg was shut out in St. Louis, Hellebuyck made 24 saves as the Jets returned the favor with a 4-0 victory over the Blu...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Monday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballHouston Baptist at Michigan State6 p.m.Big TenNorthern Arizona at USF7 p.m.820-AMNebraska-Omaha at Kansas7 p.m.ESPN2Charleston Southern at FSU7 p.m.ESPNU; 1010-AMNorthern Illinois at Marquette7 p.m.FS1Purdue-Fort Wayne at India...
Updated: 2 hours ago

PITTSBURGH — The Patriots have built a dynasty on second chances. Miss an opportunity to bury the Super Bowl champions and they will find a way to find a way, usually behind a mix of Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski and defensive playmaking at just the r...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Bucs-Falcons: Things to watch in Monday’s 8:30 p.m. game

Bucs-Falcons: Things to watch in Monday’s 8:30 p.m. game

TAMPA — The Bucs and Falcons have each won three straight games on Monday nights as they face each other on a national platform tonight at Raymond James Stadium.How can Tampa Bay continue its streak and stop Atlanta’s? It won’t be easy, but given the...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Bucs fans call for Jon Gruden — why was he fired to begin with?

Bucs fans call for Jon Gruden — why was he fired to begin with?

TAMPA — The beers and the "love ya, bros" were flowing Saturday night at the Hooters in Tampa. Jon Gruden, who will be inducted into the Bucs Ring of Honor at halftime of tonight’s home game against the Falcons, worked the room, greeting family, frie...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Fennelly: Jon Gruden was one hard-working bro

Fennelly: Jon Gruden was one hard-working bro

TAMPA — It’s ridiculous that it took this long to give Jon Gruden a night all his own, given the nights he gave Bucs fans. But it will happen this evening at Raymond James Stadium, a salute to the thermonuclear source of that Super Bowl season, that ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Last-minute run rallies UNC past Vols

Last-minute run rallies UNC past Vols

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — North Carolina passed the kind of road challenge it wanted to face before starting Atlantic Coast Conference competition. Kenny Williams sank a go-ahead 3-pointer with 35 seconds left as the seventh-ranked Tar Heels rallied past No...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Lightning has goalie Peter Budaj’s back after near-collapse

Lightning has goalie Peter Budaj’s back after near-collapse

LAS VEGAS — After the Avalanche made a seemingly insurmountable Lightning lead shaky Saturday night, defenseman Victor Hedman was the first to skate toward backup goalie Peter Budaj and give an encouraging pat on the pads with his stick.Budaj’s stat ...
Updated: 3 hours ago

NFL playoff chase

Playoff chaseNFCPos. Team Rec Div ConfDivision leaders1. Eagles-E-* 12-2 5-0 10-12. Vikings-N-z 11-3 3-1 8-23. Rams-W 10-4 4-1 7-44. Saints-S 10-4 3-1 7-3Wild card5. Panthers 10-4 2-2 6-46. Falcons 8-5 2-1 7-2Contention7. Lions 8-6 4-1 7-48. Seahawks...
Updated: 4 hours ago
David Lee: From ending ugly streaks to title to love match

David Lee: From ending ugly streaks to title to love match

David Lee has not played a home game at Madison Square Garden for nearly eight years, but the memories don’t soon fade once a player has inhaled the rarefied air of life as a Knicks fan favorite. Lee knows this better than most.One stubborn example: ...
Updated: 4 hours ago