LONDON, Great Britain - It was a tightly drawn match from start to finish, but Serena Williams outgunned Angelique Kerber in straight sets to win her seventh Wimbledon title - a record-tying 22nd Grand Slam title.
Playing in their second Grand Slam final of 2016, the No.4 seed Kerber came out on fire against the World No.1, and neither player gave an inch. The pair held on to their serves for the first eleven games of the match, a baseline battle punctuated by sizzling rallies.
But a pair of costly errors from Kerber, serving to stay in the set at 6-5, gave the defending champion the first break of the match to take the opening set.
Kerber brought up her first break point at 3-3 in the second - the first break point Serena had faced since her fourth round match against Svetlana Kuznetsova - but the World No.1 responded in emphatic fashion. She fired off a pair of back to back aces and outpaced Kerber to see off the chance.
Serena summoned up one last break of serve, then reeled off a monster service game to clinch the match and The Championships, 7-5, 6-3.
The finalists met Sue Barker on court afterwards for the traditional BBC post-match interview.
"I just want to say really congrats to Serena. You really deserve the title, your next title. You're a great champion and a great person," Kerber enthused.
"It's always an honor to play against you in the final. We played a great match - really, congrats! You deserve it. Well done Serena."
"It's the best feeling to play here on the Centre Court," the German added. "I really had the best two weeks playing here in Wimbledon, it's really the best feeling I've had."
Serena also had nothing but praise and respect for her opponent.
"Obviously, Angelique - you know, I love playing her. She's such a great opponent, she really brings out the best tennis in me," she said. "And once we get off the court, she's such a wonderful person to be around just to smile at. Thank you for being a great person."
"It's been incredibly difficult not to think about it. I had a couple of tries this year and I lost to two incredible opponents - one of them being Angelique!
"But it makes the victory even sweeter, to know how hard I've worked for it."
? WTA (@WTA) July 9, 2016