Playing for one of the few records in tennis history that she doesn't own outright - a 24th Grand Slam title that would tie Margaret Court's mark - Williams was undone by a slew of unforced errors in Wimbledon's women's final and fell to the far steadier Simona Halep, 6-2, 6-2, in just 56 minutes. Both players were dominant in their semifinal matches, with Williams beating Barbara Strycova 6-2, 6-1 and Halep knocking off Elina Svitolina 6-1, 6-3.
When Rod Laver won Wimbledon for the fourth and last time in 1969 it was the 11th time in 14 years that an Australian man had won the title. It was also Halep's first win in four matches against Williams in major tournaments, although the first three all went three sets.
"It's something very special and I'll never forget this day". Overall, this is the absolute weapon's ninth singles Grand Slam title. Her only major championship came at the French Open a year ago.
Halep dominated the seven-time Wimbledon champion from the start, breaking Williams in her first two service games and taking a 4-0 lead.
"I'm desperate to win Wimbledon more than to stop her", she said.
"I had nerves. My stomach was not very well before the match".
"Yeah, it was an extra boost when I saw all of them there, the Royal family".
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. She had just 13 in the match.
"I feel like I'm still incredibly competitive or else I wouldn't really be out here, per se".
"It was little bit of dear in headlights for me, so whenever a player plays that incredible you just kind of have to take your hat off and give them a nod on the head".
"When I came back from Montreal in 1976, there were 10,000 people who had turned up to greet me and I didn't know what hit me", recalled Comaneci about the welcome she received as a 14-year-old.
"When I did it, I did it for tennis", she said when she ascended to the No. 1 player in the WTA.
Serena sprayed a forehand error in the first game of the match to give serve away, finding herself 2-0 down when Simona held at love in game two with a backhand error and allowing the Romanian to grab another break with a backhand down the line victor.
National pride will be at stake for Halep as she bids to become the first Romanian to win a singles title at the spiritual home of grasscourt tennis. I just did natural what it came in my inside. I think it's just, you know, coming out there and doing the best that you can do.
After entering the final with a tournament-high 45 aces, Williams only managed two on Saturday.
"That's like the coolest thing because they could not care that I'm in a wheelchair". I just told her that we'll talk later.