YOU have to hand it to Wimbledon.
After a rain delayed fortnight, Venus Williams and Marion Bartoli walked on to court just five minutes late for the ladies’ singles final.
With both men’s semi finals finished, the sun was out and tennis fans in the grounds had smiles on their faces.
Some listened to the band, some sat on outside courts and enjoyed great entertainment from the doubles and juniors.
Others packed Henman Hill to watch the big screen.
And some were lucky enough to have a ticket for the clash between Williams and Bartoli.
The brollies were up again on Centre Court, but this time held by ball boys and girls at change of ends to shade the finalists from the sun.
There were no shocks today.
Sadly for Marion, her 007 inspiration Pierce Brosnan was a no show. He sent flowers instead.
Venus won 6-4 6-1, but it was no walkover.
After winning her fourth Wimbledon ladies’ singles title, Venus bounced up and down and clasped the Venus Rosewater Dish to her chest.
In the players’ box, her dad Richard hugged Marion’s father Walter.
Monsieur Bartoli looked a little bemused and then, naturally, collapsed in tears.
Thanks to the first year of equal prize money, Venus also went home with a cheque for £700,000.
Speaking on court, she paid tribute to Wimbledon legend and campaigner Billie Jean King, who was sitting in the royal box.
“She’s done so much for women’s tennis. I wouldn’t be here without her.”
A lay off due to a wrist injury meant Venus had been the 23rd seed here.
But Marion reckons the eldest Williams sister is the queen of the grass court.
At her press conference just a few minutes ago, a beaming Venus appeared in a leopard-print dress.
What with a ladies’ final to play and all, she’d forgotten to bring it with her.
But sister Serena came to the rescue and went back to their rented home to fetch it.
“Obviously, I feel on top of the world,” smiled Venus.
“I’m so glad this is the last match, because I’m done.”
And her plans for tonight?
Another broad smile: “I think I’m going to have a good time.”