After losing to Angelique Kerber at Wimbledon on Saturday, Serena Williams gave an emotional speech where she particularly addressed the moms out there watching her.
Wimbledon’s official Twitter account tweeted out a clip of William’s response to the final. The clip was captioned, “Grace, poise and emotion. A runner-up’s interview given by a true champion.”
“I was really happy to get this far. For all the moms out there, I was playing for you today”
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 14, 2018
As she walked off the court after her defeat, she was told by the interviewer, “It’s only your fourth tournament back [since giving birth to her daughter, Alexis], and you didn’t know what to expect. You had such a great tournament, and you played so well.”
Nodding in reply, a teary Williams said, “It was such an amazing tournament for me. I was really happy to get this far.” At this point, the stands started to applaud the lauded tennis player, and she continued, “It’s obviously disappointing, but I can’t be disappointed. I have so much to look forward to—I’m literally just getting started. So I look forward to it.”
The interviewer continued, “You’ve hardly played any matches, absolutely. I tell you, there are mums everywhere that say, ‘How has she done this?’ You are super-human supermum.”
To this Williams said she was actually playing for all the mothers watching her. She said, “No, I’m just me and that’s all I can be. But for all the moms out there, I was playing for you today, and I tried. But you know, Angelique played really well; she played out of her mind, so you know, it was really good, and I look forward to just continuing to be back out here and doing what I do best.”
After she lost, Williams walked up to Kerber and the two had a private, quick conversation. The interviewer asked Williams what she had told Kerber during that time, and Williams said, “Well, she’s an incredible person, Angelique is, and she’s a really good friend, so I’m really happy for it. It’s her first title so I know she’s going to really enjoy it and enjoy the moment. So congrats again, it’s amazing.”
After the final, Serena’s husband Alexis Ohanian, the founder of Reddit, took to Instagram to post a sweet message for his wife. He lauded her for staying brave and strong through delivery even when faced with life-threatening complications, and then for having the same strength throughout Wimbledon.
He wrote, “Days after our baby girl was born, I kissed my wife goodbye before surgery and neither of us knew if she would be coming back. We just wanted her to survive—10 months later, she’s in the #Wimbledon final. Congratulations, @angie.kerber. @serenawilliams will be holding a trophy again soon—she’s got the greatest one waiting at home for her. Our family knows she’ll win many more trophies, too. She’s just getting started. And I couldn’t be more proud.”
Social media also came together to applaud Williams for her strength, career and poise.
Serena Williams almost died giving birth to her daughter and then came back to be runner up at Wimbledon 10 months later but I didn’t play on the weekend because I didn’t feel like it
— The Grade Cricketer (@gradecricketer) July 15, 2018
Yooo Serena Williams is 36, gave birth nine months ago
still pulled up to the Wimbledon Final, regardless. Legend. ✨
— MADE-IN-TOKYO 🎌 (@madeintyo) July 14, 2018
Thank you, Serena Williams for being so gracious. And for being a much needed reminder to Britain this week than not all Americans are Ugly Americans. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/7yKxgxn2k0
— Mrs. Betty Bowers (@BettyBowers) July 14, 2018
The commitment and courage to persevere, to overcome dire health challenges, to nurture and birth a child, then, less than a year later, compete in a Wimbledon championship finals match? Greatness. Greatest. Congratulations and thank you, @serenawilliams. #SerenaWilliams pic.twitter.com/6rOmxsRFKl
— Be A King (@BerniceKing) July 14, 2018
These men taking issue with Serena Williams being called the greatest athlete of all time. Please, research physically what happens to a women’s body when she’s pregnant, once she’s given birth and the complications Serena had afterwards, then show me the man
— 📎Lesley-Ann Brandt (@LesleyAnnBrandt) July 15, 2018
Young women. Would you rather be someone from Love Island, or have the work ethic, discipline, tenacity, talent, grace and magnificence of Serena Williams? Loaded question #RealRoleModels. https://t.co/18kTkPzNfH
— Muriel Gray (@ArtyBagger) July 15, 2018
good morning to the greatest athlete alive, Serena Williams 🏆 💫 pic.twitter.com/gfkBLBp9l3
— 🚀 (@musegold) July 15, 2018
I well and truly believe Serena Williams is the greatest athlete of all time
— 𝓐𝓑 ♡ (@ammebwalya) July 14, 2018
Serena Williams is literally the goat. It’s not even debatable.
— chris 🌻✍🏾 (@ceeingdoubles) July 14, 2018
September 2017: Give birth to daughter Olympia.
July 2018: Reach Wimbledon final.
Serena Williams, super mom and still the 🐐 pic.twitter.com/GOO5hXSbjr
— Luis. (@serenapower_) July 14, 2018
Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex and a friend of Williams, was there to see her friend perform during the final.