It was Venus’ first win over her younger sibling in a Grand Slam final since the 2001 U.S. Open, and evened their career record at 8-8.
Venus came from 3-1 down in the first set to turn around the match, breaking Serena four times while dropping her own serve twice in a final of high quality despite the wind.
Venus broke to finish the match, with Serena hitting a backhand wide on the second match point. The sisters embraced at the net, and Venus kept her celebrations in check as she twirled and waved to the Centre Court crowd.
Venus accepted the winner’s trophy — a sterling silver salver aptly named the Venus Rosewater dish — from the Duke of Kent.
“I have to first of all say great match to Serena,” Venus said. “I can’t believe that it’s five but when you’re in the final against Serena Williams, five seems too far away from that first point. She played so awesome. It was really a task to beat her.”
“It’s so rewarding to perform here,” Venus added. “Every time I come back I know I have the chance to play well and make history. My first job is big sister and I take that very seriously.”
Venus now needs one more Wimbledon singles title to match Billie Jean King’s record of six, with only Steffi Graf (7) and Martina Navratilova (9) ahead of that.
Watching the match from the players’ box was the sisters’ mother, Oracene. Their father, Richard, had flown back to the United States because he can’t stand to watch his daughters play each other.
Referring to the mixed feelings of her family about who to support, Venus said, “It’s hard for all of them, but I like to think they want me to win.”
The 26-year-old Serena accepted her runner-up trophy and paid tribute to her 28-year-old sister.
“I’m so happy that at least one of us was able to win,” Serena said. “She’s played great this year. We’re just glad to be in the finals again.”