WIMBLEDON, England — Serena Williams
didn't receive an audience with the queen at Wimbledon she sure played like royalty.
Serena, the top-seed and defending champion, dominated Russia's Vera Zvonareva 6-3, 6-2 to win her fourth Wimbledon crown.
The 28-year-old did not drop a set in the tournament and now sits alone in sixth place with 13 majors, one ahead of Billie Jean King.
No. 21 Zvonareva, playing in her first Grand Slam final, held off the top-ranked American's vaunted power early on.
Leading 4-3, Wiliams buried a backhand return into the net on her second break point. Disgust filled her face.
Two points later, she ripped a running crosscourt forehand past the outstretched Zvonareva at net and broke into a fist-pump on one knee to take a 5-3 lead.
Williams then broke Zvonareva, the second-lowest-ranked player to make a Wimbledon final (Venus was ranked 31st when she won in 2007), twice more to run out the second set.
With nine Wimbledons between them (Venus with five, Serena with four), the Williams family monarchy has owned the All England Club for nine of the past 11 years.
Williams has won five of the last eight majors starting with the 2008 U.S. Open.
Williams had never beaten anyone other than her older sister in the Wimbledon championship match. She defeated Venus in the 2002, 2003 and 2009 finals, and Venus won the all-sister showdown in 2008.
Williams appeared determined, from the start of the fortnight, to bring home another championship.
"She's a little meaner and more determined," her mother and coach, Oracene Price, said the day before the final. "She'll do anything to get the ball over the net."
Her serve was a weapon throughout. Williams entered the final with a tournament-record 80 aces, and she added eight more in the final. Zvonareva never even got a break point in the match.
Williams won all seven matches in straight sets and was taken to tiebreakers only twice, in the fourth round against Maria Sharapova and in the semifinals against Petra Kvitova.
Williams' victory ends a tournament filled with surprises on the women's side, and the success of the hard-hitting Russian ranks right up there with the relentless sunshine. Long regarded as an underachiever prone to self-destruction, Zvonareva beat former No. 1s Kim Clijsters and Jelena Jankovic en route to the final. She also teamed with Elena Vesnina to beat the top-ranked Williams sisters in the quarterfinals of doubles.
Zvonareva, whose best previous showing at a major was the 2009 Australian Open semifinals, has popped in and out of the top-10 for years but is perhaps best known for her magnificent meltdowns.
Racket smashing and tearful eruptions have been regular incidents at her matches, but nothing topped her histrionics at last year's U.S. Open in a loss to Flavia Pennetta. After squandering six match points, the Russian sobbed, gestured, beat her legs with her racket and ripped at the tape on her knees. When she requested scissors on the court, the umpire declined.
After coming back from a serious ankle injury last year, the 25-year-old talent is learning to manage her volcanic emotions. She has kept her head under a towel during changeovers and, despite a reputation for fading in big matches, has taken care of business.
Until Saturday. She couldn't take care of business against Williams, who will enter the U.S. Open in August favored to claim her third Grand Slam title of the season.
Photo: Camerawork USA