SERENA WILLIAMS was surprisingly outplayed by Simona Halep as she lost the Wimbledon final on Saturday afternoon – but the tennis legend also broke a Grand Slam pattern that had been running 2001.
Williams was denied the chance to win her eighth Wimbledon title as she was thumped 6-2 6-2 by world no. 7 Halep.
It was certainly an afternoon to forget for the American, who only returned to the court 12 months ago after giving birth to a girl in September 2017.
But tennis fans will be intrigued to know she broke a pattern that has followed her since the final of the 2001 US Open.
Williams had only lost the first set 6-2 in five previous Grand Slam finals, with the results all following the same win-loss pattern – but that record was broken on Centre Court on Saturday.
Williams’ record when losing a set 6-2:
2001 Venus Williams (US Open) – lost
2005 Davenport (Aus Open) – won
2011 Stosur (US Open) – lost
2012 Azarenka (US Open) – won
2018 Osaka (US Open) – lost
“I’ve got to keep trying, keep fighting and enjoying the sport”
Speaking after the match, Williams admitted that she was played off the court by her Romanian opponent.
However, she all-but confirmed she would be back again in 12 months time for another bite of the cherry.
“She played out of her mind. I was like a deer in headlights,” Williams said.
“She literally played out of her mind. When a player plays that amazing then you have to take your hat off and say well done.
“I’ve got to keep trying, keep fighting and enjoying the sport.
“I love coming out here and playing in front of you guys. It’s always fun.
“My team is amazing. Thanks for the support and I love you all.”