By Sophie Brown
BBC Sport at Wimbledon
Venus Williams clinched her fourth Wimbledon singles title with a 6-4 6-1 victory over 18th seed Marion Bartoli.
Williams broke Bartoli four times in the final
After a nervy start, Bartoli, 22, matched Williams in a hard-fought first set but finally cracked at 4-5 down.
Williams, 27, continued to pile on the pressure and broke again after an epic opening game to the second set.
And despite needing treatment on a thigh problem, Williams powered on to victory and another title to add to those she won in 2000, 2001 and 2005.
"It's so exciting," 23rd seed Williams, whose season has been plagued by a wrist injury, told BBC Sport.
"It's been a long road and I've had some tough losses but I brought it together here."
Bartoli said that she had been overwhelmed by the power of the older woman.
"In the end, she was just too good," she said.
It was Williams' sixth final while Bartoli had never been beyond the fourth round of a Grand Slam until her run this year at the All England Club.
So it was not surprising that the French woman began nervously, double-faulting on break point to concede her opening service game.
But she worked her way into the match and broke back to 2-3.
Williams kept trying to pressurise her opponent, rushing to the net at every opportunity, but Bartoli was more than holding her own and raking winners around the court.
But after holding out to 4-5, the French woman cracked again, double-faulting twice to give the first set to the American, who had been the overwhelming pre-match favourite.
The usually placid Williams' relief at coming through the first set was evident as she pumped her fist after clinching it and she again stepped up the pressure at the beginning of the second set, breaking in a lengthy opening game that proved pivotal.
The Centre Court crowd, always on the side of the underdog and enjoying the French player's unorthodox style and evident enjoyment of the whole occasion, tried to rouse Bartoli.
But Williams, who had an injury time-out to have her left thigh strapped at 3-0 up in the second set, was into her stride and proved too strong.
She broke again at 4-1 and then served out to take the championship after exactly one and a half hours on court.