Garbine Muguruza paid tribute to Venus Williams after defeating the five-time Wimbledon champion to claim the title for herself.
The Spaniard, beaten by Serena Williams in the 2015 final, triumphed 7-5 6-0 to wrap up a second grand slam crown – her first success at any tournament since winning last year's French Open.
And Muguruza, 14 years her opponent's junior, revealed she has long been inspired by the American.
"I had the hardest match today against Venus," the 23-year-old said in her on-court interview. "She's such an incredible player.
"I grew up watching her play... sorry."
The apology came as Venus watched on, apparently not amused at the sizeable age gap being pointed out, despite the crowd's audible laughter.
Muguruza added: "I feel incredible to be able to play her here. Of course I'm nervous because I always dreamed about winning it, but I was composed.
"I want to thank my team who are here. This is not only me, this is all team work. Two years ago I lost in the final against Serena and she told me I was going to win."
Prompted to offer a message for coach Sam Sumyk, absent as his wife is due to give birth, Mugurza held aloft the trophy and gleefully declared: "Here it is!"