Simona Halep’s show of power and belief helps her realise Wimbledon dream

The Duchesses of Cambridge and Sussex were in the Royal Box

Williams was soundly thrashed 6-2 6-2 by an inspired Simona Halep in Saturday's Wimbledon final as the American once again fell short in her bid to equal Margaret Court's record of 24 major singles titles.

But she said those experiences had helped her here - on a surface that, as a player of 1.68m, she never thought she would be able to win on against "all these players that are very tall and serving with a lot of power". "That's why I was able to play my best, to be relaxed, and to be able to be positive and confident against her". 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".

Having since returned home to Australia for family reasons following more than a decade coaching in the US, Cahill is no longer officially on Halep's books but has been a key mentor to the 27-year-old throughout her triumphant Wimbledon campaign.

Williams had 26 unforced errors, compared to just three for Halep.

Simona Halep of Romania won her first Wimbledon title in decisive fashion on Saturday, sweeping aside Serena Williams in straight sets (6-2, 6-2). This is not the kind of background din you need when trying to win a Grand Slam. "I will come for sure", she laughed. I really think it did.

Then there was the brouhaha around the Duchess of Sussex watching her match on No 1 court and an exclusion zone set up around her in the members' area, to the chagrin of some. I had the chance to meet her after the match.

"Now, you know, in my 20s - I'm always expected to win, but it's a different circumstance for me", she said. I just went for it. "I just hugged her and I kissed her".

Halep weathered the squall, then reeled off the last five games of what she described as the match of her life.

"But this year, as I said every day, I started to feel the game more and more".

"Today I decided before the match that I'm going to focus on myself and on the final of [a] Grand Slam, not on [Williams]", she added later. You can get intimidated by the moment.

Halep, ten years younger than Williams, was seeded seventh in the Ladies' draw at the All England Club. And, it was a knee injury that forced her to give up in the finals of the Indian Wells Masters tournament, handing the victory over to Serena Williams.

"In everything she does, Serena shines a light on what all of us must fight for in order to achieve equality for all".

"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", said the 37-year-old in response to the question.