Serena Williams bounced back from successive slam final losses to beat Angelique Kerber. "It makes the victory even sweeter," she said.
Serena Williams said her record-equalling 22nd grand slam singles title was "even sweeter" given her previous final defeats in 2016.
Williams was beaten by Angelique Kerber and Garbine Muguruza in the respective Australian and French Open finals this season, but it was a case of third time lucky for the world number one as she defeated the former 7-5 6-3 on Saturday to draw level with Steffi Graf as the most prolific slam-winner in the Open Era.
After being presented with the Venus Rosewater dish for the seventh time, an ecstatic Williams said: "It's been incredibly difficult not to think about it [matching Graf's record].
"I had a couple of tries this year, lost to two great opponents, one actually being Angelique. It makes the victory even sweeter to know how hard I worked for it.
"Thank you guys for being out here to see number 22, this is awesome."
Williams and Kerber offered warm praise to each other, while the champion was able to look forward to a Centre Court return with her sister Venus for the women's doubles final.
"This court definitely feels like home, in fact I have a match later today at doubles, so I'll be back out here at home," Serena added.
"I love playing out here on Centre Court, it just inspires me so much to be here. I don't know what to say, I'm just so excited."