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Serena Williams hails wonderful friendship with royal Meghan ahead of final

The Duchess of Sussex and Duchess of Cambridge will be in the Royal Box when the American player bids for an eighth Wimbledon singles title.

Serena Williams celebrates a win at Wimbledon. (Nigel French/PA)
Serena Williams celebrates a win at Wimbledon. (Nigel French/PA)

Serena Williams has hailed her “wonderful” friendship with the Duchess of Sussex, as it was revealed the new royal will cheer the American on in the Wimbledon final.

Exactly two months after taking a front-row seat at Meghan’s wedding to the Duke of Sussex in Windsor, Williams will take centre stage in her bid for an eighth singles title at the Championships.

Meghan will be joined by the Duchess of Cambridge, a Wimbledon patron, to watch the former champion fight it out against Germany’s Angelique Kerber.

It will be the first time Meghan and Kate have carried out an official engagement together without their partners.

On Sunday, Kate and the Duke of Cambridge will watch the men’s singles final on Centre Court.

“We’ve always had a wonderful friendship,” Williams told a post-match press conference.

“Every year, for a couple years, she comes out to Wimbledon, has supported me.

“Now she’s supporting me in a different role. But our friendship is still exactly the same.

“We always have supported each other, just been there for each other through a lot. I look forward to it.”

Serena Williams and her husband Alexis Ohanian at the royal wedding (Chris Jackson/PA)

In 2016, Meghan was pictured in Williams’ player’s box, but Saturday will be her first taste of the Royal Box.

Williams joked she could also be considered among the elite at the tennis tournament.

“If there was a Wimbledon royalty, I would like to believe I would be Wimbledon royalty because I’ve done pretty well here in the past,” she said.

Dame Shirley Bassey in the royal box (Jonathan Brady/PA)

The 36-year-old, who gave birth 10 months ago, is the first mother to reach the last round of the tournament since Australian Evonne Goolagong in 1980.

If she wins on Saturday, Williams will become the first to lift the Venus Rosewater Dish since Goolagong triumphed 38 years ago.

Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit, watched as wife Williams triumphed in her semi-final on Thursday, beating Julia Goerges 6-2 6-4 in one hour 10 minutes.

The couple announced the birth of daughter Olympia in September.

Williams appeared delighted but shocked to have made it through.

She told BBC Sport: “It’s crazy, I don’t even know how to feel. I didn’t expect to do this well in my fourth tournament back after 16 months away.

“This was not inevitable for me, I had a really difficult pregnancy and I had to have multiple surgeries, I almost didn’t make it.

“I remember when I couldn’t even walk to my mailbox, so it’s definitely not normal to be in a Wimbledon final.”

Dame Shirley Bassey, Sir Cliff Richard and actor Stanley Tucci were among the stars in the Royal Box to watch the women’s semi-finals.



From Belfast Telegraph