In an eagerly awaited rematch of the last time they met, it was a very different Angelique Kerber facing Serena Williams in a Wimbledon final. I'm sure you [will] win your next grand slam soon, so congratulations for coming back. To share with her a court, it's always an honor for me because I know she's pushing me to the limits I have to play my best tennis.'.
With the Duchesses of Sussex and Cambridge in the Royal Box and Tiger Woods, Lewis Hamilton and Anna Wintour among those supporting Williams from her box, the stage seemed set for sport's most famous mother to write another remarkable chapter.
Losing in straight sets of 6-3, 6-3 to the dominant player in Angelique Kerber - a woman who walked away yesterday with her first career Wimbledon win as reported by the Inquisitr - Serena Williams was extremely gracious in defeat and took the time to make a very passionate speech, holding back tears as she described her challenges and her motivations for having come back to the court with such aggression. As things stand, Williams holds the mark for the half-century of professional tennis, one ahead of Kerber's idol, Graf.
She said, "I was really happy to get this far". I just feel like to tell all the mums, like I had such a long struggle to come back and it was really hard, and honestly I feel like if I can do it, they can do it.
She says Angelique Kerber played well from the first to the last point and was unbelievable.
Kerber, born to a German father and Polish mother, was also quick to acknowledge the influence of Graf, who won 22 Grand Slam singles titles including seven at Wimbledon. She beat Williams in the Australian Open final that year, then won that year's U.S. Open to briefly replace her at No. 1 in the rankings.
Urged on by husband Alexis Ohanian and her celebrity supporters, Williams upped her aggression and noise level, almost taking out her opponent with a thunderous drive volley in the third game of the second set.
Her first and second serves have become faster and her style of play is noticeably more aggressive. All she could do was smile.
"My first memories was watching Steffi here, winning matches in two sets", she added.
"It's obviously disappointing but I can't be disappoinited, I'm literally just getting started".
And Williams' husband, Alexis Ohanian, shared a story putting into perspective just how much Williams had come back from. "I have so much to look forward to".
Williams said of Kerber: "She's an incredible person and a really good friend so I'm really happy for her". I was trying to stay focused the whole two weeks, every single day, trying to improve my tennis, trying to stay in the moment.