Serena Williams‘ has lost the Wimbledon women’s final to Romanian Simona Halep despite being cheered on by number one fan Meghan Markle who put her hands to her face whenever her friend dropped points.
The 23-time Grand Slam winner, 37, was hoping to win her first title as a mother and equal the record for Grand Slam women’s win.
Halep’s victory against the tennis legend was her first time in the Wimbledon final. Williams is a seven-time champion at the All England Club.
Williams’ husband Alexis Ohanian, one of the co-founders of Reddit, and her mother Oracene Price were among those cheering her on.
The Duchess of Sussex, a close friend of Williams, who organised her baby shower, was watching the match from the royal box alongside the Duchess of Cambridge.
Simona Halep has won the Wimbledon women’s final against Serena Williams on Centre Court this afternoon
Halep’s victory against Williams was her first time in the Wimbledon final – and her second Grand Slam win
Despite losing today’s match, Williams’ career earnings will exceed $90million – the most in the history of the women’s game
The Duchess of Sussex is a close friend of Williams, who organised her baby shower earlier this year. She watched the game from the Royal Box
Alexis Ohanian, Williams’ husband and a co-founder of Reddit, sat next to her mother Oracene Price in the players box
Pictured: Serena Williams embraces Simona Halep after her victory at Wimbledon this afternoon
Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker could not contain her reactions as she watched Williams take on Halep
Pictured: Simona Halep celebrating as she wins her first set against Williams earlier this afternoon
Williams took on Simona Halep on Centre Court at Wimbledon this afternoon, but failed in her bid to win her first title since becoming a mother
The odds were against Halep, who has been defeated by Williams nine times in their 10 previous matches
Despite being cheered on by the Duchess of Sussex as well as her husband Alexis Ohanian, Williams failed to beat Halep
‘It was a little bit of deer in the headlights from me. When someone plays like that you have to tip your cap and nod your head.’
Halep, who fulfilled her mother’s dream by being crowned the Wimbledon champion, admitted that was the best she has ever played.
She said: ‘I had nerves. My stomach was not very well. But I knew there was no time for emotions.
‘It feels unbelievable. It is something so special and I will never forget this day.’
Last year, an emotional Williams also lost out to Angelique Kerber at Wimbledon – just ten months after nearly dying during childbirth.
She was the first mother to reach the final since Australian Evonne Goolagong, who took the title in 1980.
At the time, Williams dedicated her performance to all mothers, saying: ‘To all the moms out there, I was playing for you today and I tried but Angelique played really well. I look forward to continuing to being back out here and doing what I do best.’
Williams’s daughter, Olympia, was born via an emergency C-section in September 2017. After the birth, Williams suffered a number of health complications including a pulmonary embolism, a blocked artery in the lungs.
She spent six weeks after the birth bed bound. Her return to tennis after the near-death experience has been an emotional battle and will make a victory at Wimbledon even sweeter for the tennis legend.
Williams was hoping to equal Margaret Court’s record for most Grand Slam singles titles.
Court won 13 of her major trophies before professionals were admitted to Grand Slam tournaments, while all 23 of Williams’ major titles have come in the Open era, which began in 1968.
Halep kisses the Venus Rosewater Dish after defeating Williams during the Wimbledon women’s final today
Williams’ husband Alexis Ohanian, one of the co-founders of Reddit, was among those cheering on the tennis legend
Last year, an emotional Williams lost out to Angelique Kerber at Wimbledon – just ten months after nearly dying during childbirth
Williams was hoping to equal Margaret Court’s record for most Grand Slam singles titles at 24, having won Wimbledon seven times already
Court won 13 of her major trophies before professionals were admitted to Grand Slam tournaments, while all 23 of Williams’ major titles have come in the Open era, which began in 1968
Williams’ husband Alexis Ohanian and her mother Oracene Price sit in the players box to watch her play
Today’s match was the first time Romanian Simona Halep, pictured, had made it to the Wimbledon final
Pictured: Halep, 27, in action during today’s match against Serena Williams during today’s final at Wimbledon
The Romanian, 27, has one Grand Slam title, from the French Open last year. Pictured: Halep celebrating winning a point
Williams’ last grand slam victory was at the Australian Open in 2017, before she took a year out of the game to have daughter Alexis Olympia with Reddit co-founder husband Alexis Ohanian
Regardless of the result of today’s match, Williams’ career earnings will exceed $90million – the most in the history of the women’s game
Speaking about her attempt to take the record after a match on Thursday, she said: ‘You know I thought about it this morning and I actually didn’t think about it since.
‘It’s really not about 24, 23 or 25. It’s really just about going out there and giving my best effort no matter what.
‘I will always have a great career. I just kind of let it go this morning and I feel really calm about it.’
Williams’ last grand slam victory was at the Australian Open in 2017, before she took a year out of the game to have daughter Alexis Olympia.
Referring to her defeats in 2018, she said: ‘Looking back to even be in those two finals last year is unbelievable.
‘Now I’m in a different place. I’m more calm. Instead of having nothing to lose, I feel like I have things to lose but I also have nothing to lose. I’m in the middle.’
The odds were against Halep, who has been defeated by Williams nine times in their 10 previous matches. The Romanian, 27, has one Grand Slam title, from the French Open last year.
Regardless of the result of today’s match, Williams’ career earnings will exceed $90million – the most in the history of the women’s game.
The female player with the second highest earnings, her sister Venus, is less than half of that.
Kate and Meghan were joined in the Royal Box by Pippa Middleton to watch the Women’s Ladies Singles Final at Wimbledon
Prime Minister Theresa May is also in the Royal Box on Centre Court watching Williams take on Simona Halep
Williams’ close friend Meghan Markle also came to see her play as she tried to land her first title as a mother
Today’s Wimbledon women’s final will be watched by plenty of celebrities including Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker, pictured with her husband Christian Contreras
Sir Cliff Richard was spotted sitting in the Royal Box on Centre Court ahead of the women’s singles final match today
Other celebrities set to attend today’s final include Mark Rylance, pictured
One in eight British men think they could win a point in a match against Serena
A YouGov survey found that 12 per cent of British men think they can take a point of Serena Williams, pictured at Wimbledon
A new poll has revealed that one in eight men think they could win a point against Serena Williams in a game of tennis.
The survey results were slammed on social media, with several incredulous fans ridiculing the men.
The YouGov survey asked 1,732 British people: ‘Do you think if you were playing your very best tennis, you could win a point off Serena Williams?’
Its results found that twelve per cent of men believed they could, compared to just three per cent of women.
In 2018, just 840,000 British people played tennis regularly, which is 1.3 per cent of the population.
Reacting on Twitter, one unimpressed fan wrote: ‘Oh my, we do deceive ourselves, don’t we?’
Another commented: ‘One in eight men are overly confident bordering on delusional.’
While a third simply said: ‘Men are ridiculous.’
Serena’s fastest ever serve was clocked at 128 mph and she is widely regarded as one of the most powerful hitters in Women’s tennis history.
This is a fact not lost on the fans responding to the poll, with many suggesting the men wouldn’t even be able to see Serena’s serve, let alone return it.