Serena Williams lifts the Wimbledon trophy
Serena Williams overcame a resurgent Agnieszka Radwanska to clinch a hard-fought 6-1 5-7 6-2 victory and earn her fifth Wimbledon singles title, reports the BBC.
The American, a winner in 2002, 2003, 2009 and 2010, had eased through the opener with Radwanska rarely threatening to pierce her defences.
But the Pole regrouped as rain delayed the second set, and clawed back a break before swooping late to win the second.
Williams broke twice in the decider to finally kill off Radwanska's comeback.
It is the 30-year-old's 14th Grand Slam title and her first since spending almost a year out of action between summer 2010 and 2011 with a leg injury and subsequent pulmonary embolism.
"I can't even describe it. I almost didn't make it a few years ago," she said after her win, referring to her health problems.
"I was in hospital but now I'm here again and it was so worth it. I'm so happy.
"Aggie played so well and that's why she's had such a great career and she's so young."
Such an absorbing finish seemed highly unlikely as Williams demolished Radwanska in the opening set, raising the fear that her opponent was struggling with a respiratory illness that forced her to call off a news conference on Friday.
The world number three seemed to lack the energy to realise her hopes of countering Williams's clubbing baseline power with guile and touch.
A brief rain shower appeared to have opposite effects on the pair however, as Radwanska emerged revitalised and Williams's forehand grew increasingly erratic.
Williams broke to love in the third game with a walloped return winner, but her nerves tightened and Radwanska raised her game just in time to avert a seemingly inevitable straight-sets win.
Radwanska forced break point for the first time in the match to level at 4-4 and the crowd threw their support behind her renaissance.
Suddenly Radwanska's scurrying and fetching was asking questions and Williams, apparently beset by mental demons, crashed into the net from midcourt to send the match into a decider.
The American had lost only four of the previous 194 Grand Slam matches in which she won the opening set however, and reasserted her authority to protect that record and accelerate away from Radwanska.