Venus Williams beat France's Marion Bartoli 6-4, 6-1 to win the Wimbledon women's singles title for a fourth time yesterday.
The American, who was only the 23rd seed, added to her 2000, 2001 and 2005 titles with another turbo-charged display of tennis against an opponent who had created one of the biggest surprises in the tournament's history by beating world number one Justine Henin in the semi-final.
Williams reproduced the kind of form she had displayed in demolishing two Grand Slam winners, Maria Sharapova and Svetlana Kuznetsova, in her quarter-final and semi-final matches.
Bartoli rallied from 0-3 down to level things up at 3-3 in the opening set yesterday with the help of an overcooked Williams forehand which handed her a fifth game break of serve.
From then there was little in it until Bartoli double faulted at 4-5 and 15-30 to hand her opponent two set points.
She managed to save the first one but there was nothing she could do on the next one when Williams rifled a forehand down the line, followed it in and clinched the set with a swinging backhand volley from mid-court.
Williams pressed home her advantage with a break in an exhilarating second game of the second set, claiming it at the third attempt with a fine backhand down the line after Bartoli had saved an earlier break point by coming out on top at the end of a 21-stroke rally.
Bartoli won the fourth game of the set to love but normal service was resumed on Williams's next service game and, at 1-4 down, Bartoli's resistance evaporated. Another break gave Williams the chance to serve for the match.
A stinging cross court backhand clipped the outside of the line and gave her two match points. Bartoli saved the first but there was nothing she could do about the unstoppable serve that Williams hammered down on the second to end the contest after one hour and 30 minutes.
In the men's tournament Roger Federer reached his ninth consecutive major final yesterday, beating Richard Gasquet 7-5, 6-3, 6-4.
Rafael Nadal, who lost to Federer in last year's final, set up a rematch when No. 4 Novak Djokovic retired from their semi-final clash while trailing 3-6, 6-1, 4-1.
Federer's win was his 53rd straight on grass. He finished with 20 aces, including one on a second serve in the final game of the match.
In the other semi-final Djokovic called for the trainer after losing the second set.
He got the little toe on his left foot bandaged and returned to the court before eventually calling it a day trailing 1-4 in the third set.