Simona Halep of Romania defeated Serena Williams 6-2, 6-2 to win her very first Wimbledon title. Many are aware that Williams is one win away from tying the 24 grand slam title record and questioned whether the pressure of tying the record was a factor in her defeat. “I can’t say that I have a lot of tension or was super tense,” Williams explained. “I just think my opponent [Halep] played unbelievable. When someone plays lights out, there’s really not much you can do. You just have to understand that it was their day.”
The women’s Wimbledon singles final match was relatively short in comparison to the record breaking four hour and 57 minutes men’s match that took place the following day. Halep and Williams’ match lasted merely 56 minutes.
Williams went on to praise Halep’s play saying, “There’s so many impressive things about her. Her tenacity, her ability to improve every time, just to keep improving. Her ability to find power. You can’t underestimate her. She’s like a little powerhouse.”
Williams also critiqued her own play saying, “I feel like I’m still incredibly competitive or else I wouldn’t really be out here. Today, nothing really helped. But also, I made way too many errors for a lot of stuff to work. I need to keep working and maybe be able to play some tournaments uninjured, like I did with this one.”
Former pro tennis star Billie Jean King made some questionable remarks concerning Williams in an interview with Metro UK. King said, “She’s got a business, a baby, she’s trying to help gender equity, particularly for women of color. I would like to see her put everything else aside from that. She’s got people working on those things. I wish she would just make a commitment for the next year and a half to two years and say, ‘I’m going to absolutely devote what’s necessary for my tennis, so when I look in the mirror when I’m older, then I can go back in my mind and know I gave it everything I had and be happy.’”
Naturally, a reporter made reference to King’s comments post-match, asking for Williams’ response to the suggestion that she “should stop being a celebrity for a year and stop fighting for equality and just focus on the tennis.”
Without skipping a beat, Williams said, “The day I stop fighting for equality and for people that look like you and me will be the day I’m in my grave.”
Williams is confident she will find a way to win, stating, “I just have to figure out a way to win a final. Maybe playing other finals outside of grand slams would be really helpful to kind of get in the groove.”