LONDON • Serena Williams became the oldest woman Grand Slam title winner yesterday, when a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Garbine Muguruza gave her a sixth Wimbledon crown and 21st major title.
The American was never at her overpowering best. But she recovered from a slow start to see off the Spanish 20th seed in an 82-minute Centre Court triumph that will be remembered more for its historic implications than the quality of the champion's performance.
At 33 years and 289 days, she surpasses Martina Navratilova as the oldest player to win Wimbledon, and any of the other three Grand Slams, in the Open era.
Williams' sixth Wimbledon crown brought with it a slew of other remarkable landmarks that underline her remarkable credentials as one of the greatest female athletes of all time.
She now holds all four Grand Slam titles at the same time for the second time in her career - the rare "Serena Slam" which she last achieved in 2002-03.
Only three women have completed the Grand Slam: Maureen Connolly in 1953, Margaret Court in 1970 and Steffi Graf in 1988.
"It feels so good. Garbine played so well, I didn't know it was over," she said. "I'm just happy. I can't believe I'm standing here with another 'Serena Slam'," she said.
She is also the first woman to land the French Open and Wimbledon back-to-back since she last won that difficult double in 2002.
Lifting the Venus Rosewater Dish for the first time since 2012 also leaves Williams needing only to retain the US Open to become the first woman since the German Graf in 1988 to claim a calendar Grand Slam.
She is just one major title behind Graf on the Open era leaderboard and within three of all-time record holder Court's tally of 24.
Given Williams' 39-1 record in 2015 and her astonishing streak of 28 consecutive Grand Slam match victories, few would bet against the American making more history in New York next month.
Regardless of her defeat, Muguruza, 21, has emerged as one of the brightest young stars on the women's tour.
She put up a brave display in her first Grand Slam final appearance that often left her opponent Williams rattled.
The American's thunderous serve was strangely out of sync in a nervous start to the first set.
And, after serving a double fault on the first point, she threw in two more to hand Muguruza a surprise break in the contest.
Muguruza had more than enough power to trade blows from the baseline and when she moved into a 4-2 lead, it seemed an epic shock was on the cards.
However, Williams finally found her groove, as she rattled off four straight games, with Muguruza double-faulting on set point to gift-wrap the lead to the American in a set that had been the underdog's for the taking.
It seemed one-way traffic for Williams in the second set.
However, serving for the match with 5-1 and then 5-3 leads, she was gripped by a bad case of nerves and Muguruza broke twice to prolong the contest.
Finally able to compose herself, Williams broke in the next game to seal yet another success.
"I'm very proud and happy to be here," Muguruza said. "A Grand Slam final for me is a dream come true. And I also want to say congrats to Serena, showing that she's the world No. 1."