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.

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.”

Her victory is the first time the title has been won by a woman over 30 since Martina Navratilova’s triumph in 1990 and restores Victoria Azarenka, the Belarussian she beat in the semi-final, to the world number one spot.

Williams also served a total of 102 aces en route to lifting the Venus Rosewater Dish – more than any other woman has managed in a single Wimbledon campaign.

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