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Serena Williams' husband posted this heart-wrenching tribute after Wimbledon final defeat

By Eleanor Crooks

Serena Williams' husband has said he "couldn't be more proud" of the Wimbledon runner-up after her remarkable performance at the All England Club.

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.

In her fourth tournament back, just 10 months after becoming a mother, she 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.

Williams married businessman Alexis Ohanian last November and he paid tribute to her achievements in London.

He wrote on Instagram: "Days after our baby girl was born, I kissed my wife goodbye before surgery and neither of us knew if she would be coming back.

"We just wanted her to survive-10 months later, she's in the #Wimbledon final.

"Congratulations, @angie.kerber.

"@serenawilliams will be holding a trophy again soon-she's got the greatest one waiting at home for her. Our family knows she'll win many more trophies, too.

"She's just getting started. And I couldn't be more proud."

Williams was looking to win her 24th Slam singles title, equalling Margaret Court's all-time record.

Two-time former US Open champion Tracy Austin said: "There's no doubt, it's just she needs more time.

"You can't replicate match play in practice. She's going to get fitter and this may make her even more determined because I know Serena. She's not used to losing in major finals and I know at Wimbledon that's going to sting badly.

"She'll get right back on the horse. As she said, she's going to play many more years.

"I think she'll get 24 and I have no doubt she'll get 25."

Williams stressed following her semi-final victory over Julia Goerges that there was nothing normal about her being back in a Slam final so soon after childbirth and the life-threatening complications that followed.

She was made the favourite anyway, but Saturday's match showed that unsurprisingly she still has work to do to get back to her best.

Austin said: "I think it was just a step too far. She hadn't played anybody in the top 50 until the semis. Serena played against an opponent who was able to sustain an incredible level.

"Angie was serving well, she only faced one break point, Serena won only 31 per cent of her second-serve points, which is unusual, so that says a lot about Kerber's return. How many times did we think Serena won the point and Kerber gets that extra ball back in play.

"It was only her 14th match back. Sometimes we expect so much from Serena because she's delivered so much in the past."

Kerber's coach, Wim Fissette, also believes Williams will soon equal Court's record.

He said: "I think it's amazing where she is right now. I saw her at the beginning of the tournament where I don't think she played well. She's always able to raise her level.

"Her movement keeps getting better again, her shots are as always very good and I feel she just missed experience of matches against a really top player who's rock solid like Angie."

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