Serena Williams bids to land her first title as a mum and equal the record for Grand Slam women’s wins at the age of 37 in front of a celebrity-packed crowd
- 23-time Grand Slam winner, 37, will face Simona Halep, 27, on Centre Court at Wimbledon later this afternoon
- Last year, Williams lost out to Angelique Kerber in final – just ten months after nearly dying during childbirth
- She was the first mother to reach the final since Australian Evonne Goolagong who took the title in 1980
Serena Williams will today bid to land her first title as a mother and equal the record for Grand Slam women’s wins at Wimbledon in front of a star-studded crowd.
The 23-time Grand Slam winner, 37, will face Simona Halep on Centre Court later this afternoon. Williams is already a seven-time champion at the All England Club, but this is the first time Halep has reached the final.
Last year, an emotional Williams lost out to Angelique Kerber at Wimbledon – just ten months after nearly dying during childbirth.
She was the first mother to reach the final since Australian Evonne Goolagong, who took the title in 1980.
At the time, Williams dedicated her performance to all mothers, saying: ‘To all the moms out there, I was playing for you today and I tried but Angelique played really well. I look forward to continuing to being back out here and doing what I do best.’
Serena Williams, pictured today, will bid to land her first title as a mother and equal the record for Grand Slam women’s wins in front of a star-studded crowd at Wimbledon
She is set to face Simona Halep, pictured, who has one Grand Slam title, from the French Open last year
Today’s Wimbledom women’s final will be watched by plenty of celebrities including Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker, pictured with her husband Christian Contreras
Williams’s daughter, Olympia, was born via an emergency C-section in September 2017. After the birth, Williams suffered a number of health complications including a pulmonary embolism, a blocked artery in the lungs.
She spent six weeks after the birth bed bound. Her return to tennis after the near-death experience has been an emotional battle and will make a victory at Wimbledon even sweeter for the tennis legend.
If Williams wins this one, she will equal Margaret Court’s record for most Grand Slam singles titles.
But Court won 13 of her major trophies before professionals were admitted to Grand Slam tournaments, while all 23 of Williams’ major titles have come in the Open era, which began in 1968.
Speaking about her attempt to take the record after a match on Thursday, she said: ‘You know I thought about it this morning and I actually didn’t think about it since.
‘It’s really not about 24, 23 or 25. It’s really just about going out there and giving my best effort no matter what.
‘I will always have a great career. I just kind of let it go this morning and I feel really calm about it.’
Williams’ last grand slam victory was at the Australian Open in 2017, before she took a year out of the game to have daughter Alexis Olympia with Reddit co-founder husband Alexis Ohanian.
Referring to her defeats in 2018, she said: ‘Looking back to even be in those two finals last year is unbelievable.
‘Now I’m in a different place. I’m more calm. Instead of having nothing to lose, I feel like I have things to lose but I also have nothing to lose. I’m in the middle.’
The odds are against Halep, who has been defeated by Williams nine times in their 10 previous matches. The Romanian, 27, has one Grand Slam title, from the French Open last year.
Williams’ close friend Meghan Markle has also come to see her play as she tries to land her first title as a mother
Sir Cliff Richard was spotted sitting in the Royal Box on Centre Court ahead of the women’s singles final match today
Other celebrities set to attend today’s final include Mark Rylance, pictured. Williams’ close friend Meghan Markle is also set to make an appearance
One in eight British men think they could win a point in a match against Serena
A YouGov survey found that 12 per cent of British men think they can take a point of Serena Williams, pictured at Wimbledon
A new poll has revealed that one in eight men think they could win a point against Serena Williams in a game of tennis.
The survey results were slammed on social media, with several incredulous fans ridiculing the men.
The YouGov survey asked 1,732 British people: ‘Do you think if you were playing your very best tennis, you could win a point off Serena Williams?’
Its results found that twelve per cent of men believed they could, compared to just three per cent of women.
In 2018, just 840,000 British people played tennis regularly, which is 1.3 per cent of the population.
Reacting on Twitter, one unimpressed fan wrote: ‘Oh my, we do deceive ourselves, don’t we?’
Another commented: ‘One in eight men are overly confident bordering on delusional.’
While a third simply said: ‘Men are ridiculous.’
Serena’s fastest ever serve was clocked at 128 mph and she is widely regarded as one of the most powerful hitters in Women’s tennis history.
This is a fact not lost on the fans responding to the poll, with many suggesting the men wouldn’t even be able to see Serena’s serve, let alone return it.