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Saturday, 8 July, 2000, 15:07 GMT 16:07 UK
Wonderful Williams
Venus Williams
Venus is all smiles after her win
(5) V Williams (US) bt (2) L Davenport 6-3 7-6 (7-3)

Venus Williams won the battle of the giants to claim the women's singles crown at Wimbledon.

It was the 20-year-old American's first Grand Slam title - and came courtesy of a powerful performance on Centre Court.

It was not a classic final by any means but Williams always looked to have the edge against fellow six-footer Lindsay Davenport.

And the victory clearly meant a lot to the fifth seed, who bounced around the court in celebration as her achievement quickly sunk in.

Dreaming

Speaking after her win, Williams, who pockets 430,000, admitted she had been dreaming of success at the All England Club for a long time.

"It's really great because I've been working hard all my life to be here," she said.


Lindsay Davenport
Davenport struggled on Centre Court
"I used to go to bed and dream that I'd won a Grand Slam, but when I woke up it was a nightmare."

Both players looked nervous early on once the match started 30 minutes later than planned because of rain.

No sooner had Davenport, with strapping at the top of her left leg, broken in the opening game than Williams hit right back to square things up.

It was Williams who settled quickest.

She raced into a 4-1 lead as her powerful serves and returns left Davenport's normally reliable defence in tatters.

Agile

Not the most agile of movers around the court, the reigning champion scurried in vain as she tried to get a racquet on the ball.

The points she did win on the Williams serve often came courtesy of some unforced errors by her over-eager opponent.

But even those dried up as Williams, conqueror of top seed Martina Hingis in the quarter-finals, began to take the match by the scruff of the neck.

In fact, Davenport looked so uncomfortable on Centre Court that you began to wonder whether her injured leg was inhibiting her movement.

She kept herself in with a chance of winning the first set by saving two break points in the sixth game.

But Williams was undaunted, rattling off two of the next three games to clinch the first set 6-3 in just 32 minutes.

Control

Davenport looked to have found a way back into the match when she briefly took control at the start of the second set.

She broke in the second game to lead 2-0 - but it was the first of four games to go against the serve.

Williams eventually regained her composure to tie the match up at 3-3 and then edged into the lead.


Venus Williams
Williams: her power was too much for her opponent
But if that was the signal for Davenport to surrender her crown, someone forgot to tell her.

The second seed dug deep into her reserves to break Williams when she was serving for the match.

Then Davenport held her own serve to edge into a 6-5 lead.

Wilted

Williams visibly wilted, looking anxious and beginning to snatch at the ball.

But she just about keep a lid on her emotions to take the set into a tie-break.

From then on, the result was never in doubt.

Williams stormed into a 5-1 lead as Davenport ran out of steam, finally claiming her first Grand Slam title by winning the tie-break 7-3.

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See also:

08 Jul 00 |  Photo Galleries
Women's singles final: In pictures
08 Jul 00 |  Wimbledon2000
Sampras on the verge of history
08 Jul 00 |  Wimbledon2000
Venus v Davenport: Clockwatch
08 Jul 00 |  Wimbledon2000
Angry Felgate hits back
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