Serena Williams, with the chance to tie Margaret Court, the only player in history with 24 Grand Slam singles titles came up shot, falling to Simona Haslep 6-2,6-2 in the Wimbledon finals. Court, a retired Australian tennis player and former world No. 1, and played her final singles match of her career in 1977.
The 37-year-old thanked her team and said it was an honor to play in front of the fans, despite the loss. Williams had noted earlier that she has not played played her best recently saying, “I don’t know if I’ve had my best serves this tournament. I’m just now starting to use my legs again.”
After the win, Halep, who was all smiles, said that she has never played a better match than she did today, summing up what it means to hold the trophy by saying, “I’m happy,” calling it the best hour of her life.
Williams complimented her opponent after the match saying, “She literally played out of her mind. It was a little bit deer in the headlights for me. Whenever a player plays like that you just have to take your hat off. I love coming out here, playing in front of you guys. It’s literally a joy.”
Tennis icon Billie Jean King congratulated Halep on the victory.
Halep, ten years younger than Williams, was seeded seventh in the Ladies’ draw at the All England Club. Halep was a different type of opponent than Williams had seen so far in Wimbledon in her style of play. Halep was the first top 15 player Williams faced in the tournament.
Halep had previously said she hoped members of the Royal Family would be in the stands to watch her match, and was thrilled she finds out Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle and Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton were in attendance.