Serena Williams praised Meghan Markle is a “great friend” after the Duchess of Sussex came to support her on Saturday at the 2019 Wimbledon women’s singles final, which she lost.
The 37-year-old seven-time Wimbledon champion was beaten 6-2 6-2 by 27-year-old Simona Halep, the first tennis star from Romania to capture the title. Meghan, sister-in-law Kate Middleton, and the Duchess of Cambridge’s sister Pippa Middletonwatched the match from the Royal Box at Centre Court, marking the first joint solo outing for the duchesses in a year.
“Just having her in general as a friend is great,” Serena told reporters after the match. “She’s such a great friend and a great person as well, and always positive, no matter what. So it’s so good to have people like that just to know.”
“She’s such a fan of the sport and she too is happy for Simona,” Serena continued. “She saw that she played unbelievable and that’s just the kind of person that she is.”
Accompanied by two friends, Meghan had also cheered on Serena at the women’s singles second round match against Slovakia’s Kaja Juvan earlier this month. It marked the duchess’ first solo outing since giving birth to her and husband Prince Harry’s first child, son Archie Harrison, who is now two months old.
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Meghan and Serena have known each other since 2014, when they played on the same team at DIRECTV’s Celebrity Beach Bowl.
“We hit it off immediately,” Meghan later wrote on her now-shuttered lifestyle website The Tig. “Taking pictures, laughing through the flag football game we were both playing in, and chatting not about tennis or acting, but about all the good old fashioned girly stuff.”
Serena and husband Alexis Ohanian attended the duchess’ royal wedding to Harry in 2018 and the tennis star co-hosted a baby shower for her friend in New York earlier this year.
Earlier this week, the tennis star defended Meghan amid months of negative media reports about her.
“Any time I see her name attached to anything, I don’t read it,” she told reporters at Wimbledon. “She couldn’t be a better friend to me. Low moments, high moments—she’s always there. That’s all I want to be to her.”