Serena Williams lost the 2019 Wimbledon singles championship 6-2, 6-2 to Romanian Simona Halep in a speedy 56-minute game, falling show in her latest opportunity to secure a record-setting 24th Grand Slam title.
Williams, 36, had previously won the Wimbledon title seven times. This is the first Wimbledon title for Helap, 27, and the first time a Romanian has won the event.
“She literally played out of her mind, congratulations Simona,” Williams said after the game. “It was a little bit deer in the headlights for me, so whenever a player plays that amazing you just ind of have to take your hat off and give them the nod on the head so congrats on all the hard work.”
When asked by reporters after her victory if she had ever played so well, Helap said no. “Never, it was the best match and of course Serena always inspired us so thank you for that.”
She also admitted that she was nervous to meet Williams on the court. “Well, I had nerves, my stomach was not very well before the match, but I knew there was to time for emotions,” Halep said. “I just came on court and I gave my best.”
It was Williams third time trying to win her 24th Grand Slam singles title. She lost to Angelique Kerber in last year’s Wimbledon final and to Naomi Osaka in the championship match at the U.S. Open earlier this year.
Williams is currently ranked No. 10 in the world in women’s singles, having been ranked No. 1 on eight occasions between 2002 and 2007. She has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, second only to Margaret Court who won 24 titles.
The final was attended by Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, both of whom met the new reigning champ after her victory.