Serena Williams fires warning to rivals following Wimbledon loss
"I think these two weeks have really showed me that I can come out and be a contender to win Grand Slams. This is literally just the beginning"
By Raz Mirza at Wimbledon
Last Updated: 17/07/18 4:04pm
Serena Williams says finishing as runner-up at Wimbledon, 10 months after having her first child, was "just the beginning".
The 36-year-old American gave birth to daughter Olympia last September but complications, including blood clots in her lungs, put her life in danger.
She needed surgery and was bed-bound for weeks, but Williams has managed to overcome those difficult days and resume her tennis career.
Did you know...
Serena Williams is projected to rise from 181 to 28 in the WTA rankings.
In her fourth tournament back, just 10 months after becoming a mother, Williams fought her way through the Wimbledon field to reach the final. An eighth title was just out of reach, Angelique Kerber edging her out 6-3 6-3 on Saturday.
And after losing a Wimbledon final for the first time in a decade, Williams struggled to hold back tears during her on-court interview, and said of her graciousness in defeat: "I'm just better at acting now, I guess.
"It was a great opportunity for me. I didn't know a couple of months ago where I was, where I would be, how I would do, how I would be able to come back. It was such a long way to see light at the end of the road.
"So I think these two weeks have really showed me that I can come out and be a contender to win Grand Slams. This is literally just the beginning."
A revitalised Kerber was able to celebrate a third Grand Slam title and the first since her high-flying career nosedived in a dismal 2017 season.
The 30-year-old - the first German singles champion here since her idol Steffi Graf in 1996 - said: "I was quite nervous before the match. But I was trying to tell myself, 'Go out there and play your best match', because I know that against Serena I have to play my best tennis, especially in the important moments.
"I think it's just amazing. I cannot describe this feeling because when I was a kid I was always dreaming of this moment. To win Wimbledon, it's something really special in my career. I think that she did not lose the match, I won the match."
After Kerber defeated Karolina Pliskova to lift her second slam title at the US Open later that summer and climb to world No 1, it seemed Williams might have a consistent challenger at the top of the game.
Instead, the pressure of her new status and trying to back up what she had achieved crushed Kerber, and last season she won only six matches at the four slams combined.
She said: "I think without 2017 I couldn't win this tournament. I think I learned a lot from last year, with all the expectation, all the things I went through. I learned so many things about myself.
"I try to enjoy every single moment now. Also to find the motivation after 2016, which was amazing. I think to make again such a year is impossible. But now I'm just trying to improve my game, thinking not too much about the results, trying to be a better tennis player, a better person."
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