Yes, Angelique Kerber just defeated Serena Williams in the Wimbledon final. No, Williams won’t yet be going home with her 24th Grand Slam title to tie the record Margaret Court has held since 1973. But in the eyes of many watching on Saturday, Williams was still a winner.
“I was really happy to get this far,” Williams said in her postgame interview, her voice wobbly with tears. “It’s obviously disappointing, but I can’t be disappointed, you know, I have so much to look forward to. … To all the moms out there, I was playing for you today, and I tried, but um, Angelique played really well. She played out of her mind.”
"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
Not to take anything away from Kerber, who made swift work of her opponent in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3, but the viewers at home — especially mothers who know what it feels like to come back from maternity leave — were quick to tweet how much Williams just being there meant to them. After all, she just gave birth to daughter Olympia 10 months ago.
“I had a baby around the same time as Serena and barely managed the mums’ race at sports day last week.” wrote Lucky Soul.
I had a baby around the same time as Serena and barely managed the mums' race at sports day last week. What a woman!
— Lucky Soul (@WeAreLuckySoul) July 14, 2018
Serena Williams came back from pregnancy to make it to the finals of Wimbledon at almost 37 years old. That’s greatness.
Despite the loss, she’s still the GOAT.
— Everette Taylor (@Everette) July 14, 2018
“@serenawilliams is a Goddess,” Emma declared. “I couldn’t run for the bus when my first child was 10 months old. Looking forward to the #USOpen. #tennis #GOAT #shewillbeback
“Serena is an legend,” noted Taryn Thompson. “Who else gets to the final of #Wimbeldon with breastfeeding boobs?”
Many couldn’t help reiterating that the tennis star nearly died of complications from her cesarean section.
listen for someone who almost died 10 months ago after giving birth and she made it this far and playing like this, we’ll see y’all at the next tournament! yass serena williams yasss pic.twitter.com/HqFH1m72JG
— jade(d) (@songsaboutjade) July 14, 2018
Williams’s husband, Alexis Ohanian, was one of those too, writing earlier this week, “Walking to the mailbox was a painful, exhausting challenge for this woman just 9 months ago. This is already nothing short of remarkable.”
Walking to the mailbox was a painful, exhausting challenge for this woman just 9 months ago.
— Alexis Ohanian Sr. 🚀 (@alexisohanian) July 10, 2018
Even Kerber couldn’t hold back her admiration for her competitor. “You will have your next Grand Slam, and you will have it soon I am sure,” she said after her win.
When she does, we can’t even imagine what the tweets will say.
I'm so emotional right now… Serena Williams just means so much to us all and certainly me and I thank her for her effort and excellence and example! 🐐
— Rosalyn Gold-Onwude (@ROSGO21) July 14, 2018
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:
- Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle plan girls’ trip to cheer on Serena Williams at Wimbledon
- Serena Williams says winning 23 Grand Slams has been ‘amazing’ — but it’s not the best thing that’s happened to her
- Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton make a case for sisters-in-law outings