History was made on Saturday when American Serena Williams defeated Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, to win the 2012 Wimbledon's women's singles final. This is Williams' seventh finals appearance for the Grand Slam tournament, and her fifth Wimbledon win.
Williams and her sister, Venus, also defeated the Czech Republic's Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka in the women's doubles final. The sisters have five singles titles each, and now, five doubles titles.
In the men's doubles final, Briton Jonathan Marray and Denmark's Frederik Nielsen beat Sweden's Robert Lindstedt and Romania's Horia Tecau. Marray's victory gave Britain its first men's doubles champion since 1936 and according to the Wimbledon blog, Nielsen is the first Danish player to win a Grand Slam title, ever.
"Oh my God I can't even describe..." Williams said after her singles win, according to the Wimbledon live blog. "I thank Jehovah for letting me get this far. I almost didn't make it , two years ago I was in hospital... It's so worth is and I'm so happy. I never dreamt of being here again. You just never give up."
Williams was in the hospital recovering from a pulmonary embolism 18 months ago.
When asked if age 30 is the new 20, Williams replied, ""Oh my God, of course. Hello? I've been saying it all week: mentally I'm kind of 12, 13. I've always wanted everything Venus has had so... I had to copy you again, sorry!"
Radwanska was noticeably disappointed about losing out on her chance to snag her first Grand Slam tournament win.
"I'm still shaking so much, so I think I have the best two weeks of my life you know?" Radwanska said. "Of course she played too good today. I already have great memories from 2005 when I won junior Wimbledon. I think it was not my day today but I will just try next year and we'll see. Thank you very much for the support. Thank you so much."
The men's doubles match proved to be historic. Nielsen is the first Danish man to make the Wimbledon finals since 1955, when his grandfather played in the singles final. Marray was the first British man to play in the men's doubles final since 1960.
"We can't believe it. It's tough to sink in. I don't know what to say," Marray said afterwards.
On Sunday, Andy Murray will go head to head with Roger Federer in the men's singles final.
The last time a Briton reached the Wimbledon men's singles final, the photos taken of the event were in black and white.
On Friday, Andy Murray became the first one in 74 years. Now, he’s up against six-time champion Roger Federer for the final on Sunday. No matter who wins, history will be made. If Murray wins, during this year of Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee, you can bet the pubs will be full on Sunday night. If Federer wins, he will join American Pete Sampras and Briton William Renshaw atop the list of all-time men's singles champions.
The Wimbledon finals bring all of the drama to resounding conclusion, in crushing defeat or resounding victory, for two women and two men.
Perhaps you dine on strawberries and cream every summer in your best white outfit in honor of the international event. Or you’re just tuning in to see if Murray makes it in one of those gripping human-interest sports stories viewers like to seize on.
Last year two people won their first Wimbledon titles. The Czech Republic'ss Petra Kvitova defeated Russia’s Maria Sharapova to snag her first Grand Slam championship, while Serbia’s Novak Djokovic beat Spain’s Rafael Nadal.
Entering its 126th year, the tournament still carries its historic charm. Patrons in their straw hats and finery sip on champagne and eat their strawberries and cream amidst a polite atmosphere.
The tennis players are still referred to as “ladies” and “gentlemen,” wearing white outfits. The referees sport club blazers. Well-trained 15-year-old ball boys and ball girls in navy shorts and polo shirts, who jockey for the coveted spot throughout the year, dash on and off the courts.
Still held on the grass, the only one of four Grand Slam events to do so, Wimbledon has always been held at the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club in London.
The club was founded in 1868, and the first tournament, called the Lawn Tennis Championships, was held in 1877. The other three Grand Slam tennis tournaments are the Australian, French and U.S. Opens.
It was suspended from 1915 to 1918 during World War I and 1940-1945 during World War II. In October 1940, a bomb hit Centre Court, wiping out 1,200 stadium seats.
And of course, no Wimbledon would be complete without the royals in attendance. The Royal Box has 74 dark green Lloyd Loom wicker chairs for British and foreign royal families, government leaders, tennis well-knowns, British armed forces, media organizations and British tennis supporters.
And unlike the Royal Ascot, hats are discouraged for the ladies – spectators don’t want to bob around behind them for a view of the court.
Until 2003, players bowed and curtseyed to the royal family when entering or leaving the court. That practice has been discarded, the only exception being for the queen and the prince of Wales.
– Most men's singles championships: Pete Sampras and William Renshaw - 7. (Renshaw's titles, in the 1880s, came before professionals were permitted to compete).
– Most women's singles championships: Martina Navratilova - 9.
– Oldest winner: Navratilova, in mixed doubles at the age 46 years, 261 days, in 2003.
– Youngest winner: Martina Hingis, in women's doubles, age 15 years, 282 days, in 1996.
– Most matches played: Navratilova: 326.
– Longest match: John Isner defeated Nicolas Mahut in 11 hours and 5 minutes over three days in 2010. The final set took 138 games (Wimbledon has no tie-breakers in fifth sets; a player must win by two games). The final score: 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (3), 70-68. The fifth set alone, spanning more than eight hours, far eclipsed the previous record for the longest match in pro tennis history.
– Total prize money for 2012: ₤16.1 million ($24.9 million) - a a 10% increase over 2011. Singles champions each receive ₤1.15 million ($1.78 million). (In 2007, the female champion received the same cash award as the male champ for the first time).
We'll be watching Wimbledon right along with you and updating all weekend, so be sure to keep tabs on our coverage. And if you love all things Wimbledon, you'll enjoy our previous perspectives on the tournament.