Williams is one Grand Slam off equaling Margaret Court’s record of 24, but her latest bid at Wimbledon was ended by Halep, who won 6-2, 6-2.
After the match, Williams praised Halep and did not make excuses for the comprehensive defeat. With the 24th title still proving elusive, Williams was asked what it will take for her to get over the line, having lost her last three Grand Slam finals (Wimbledon 2018, 2019 and US Open 2018).
“I just have to figure out a way to win a final,” Williams said. “Maybe it is playing other finals outside of Grand Slams would be really helpful just to kind of get in the groove, so by the time I get to a Grand Slam final I’m kind of used to what to do and how to play.”
Williams added: “I just think that I just have to just keep going, you know, keep trying, keep working, maybe be able to play some tournaments uninjured, like I did with this one. Just keep moving forward.”
She is also trying to park thoughts of Court’s record and is instead taking tournaments in isolation.
“Someone told me I shouldn’t look at the records anymore,” Williams said. “I should just focus on my game. That’s kind of what I’ve been doing since I got to 18. In the meantime, I got pregnant, had a baby, so … that definitely plays a little bit into it. I don’t know. I feel like I’m just really on this journey of just doing the best that I can, playing the best that I can when I can.”
The Centre Court crowd was typically vocal in its support for Williams, 37, and she recognizes the chances to see the likes of her and other tennis greats like Roger Federer are decreasing as they get older.
“I definitely felt the support and the love,” Williams said. “I appreciated it. I wanted to do better. I don’t think my opponent wanted me to do better today. … But it’s cool. Yeah, no matter which way you look at it, [Federer and I are] not going to be out here in the next three, four, five years. The time is now to get out there and to watch us play, I guess.”
Williams came into Wimbledon having missed part of the year with a knee injury, but she says it feels “absolutely great.” Her attention now turns to the hard-court season and that 24th title at the US Open. She will play in Toronto and Cincinnati before this year’s US Open in August.
“I think there’s a limit,” Williams said of adding to her schedule. “I think if I overdo it, then that could also be a problem, as well. Especially on the hard courts. I’ve been on the softer surfaces, so to say. It would be interesting to see how my knee is on the hard court. I definitely don’t want to do three tournaments before a Grand Slam. I think it will be fine.”