Venus Williams after Wimbledon loss to Spain’s Garbiñe Muguruza: ‘I tried my best’

LONDON — Venus Williams nearly broke a record Saturday to become the oldest women's Grand Slam winner in the Open era, but lost her chance to clinch a sixth Wimbledon title to Spain's Garbiñe Muguruza.

The 37-year-old American tennis star's comeback to try and reclaim the top spot at the prestigious event follows a tumultuous month in which she was involved in a fatal car crash in Florida. Muguruza, 23, won in straight sets: 7-5, 6-0.

"I tried my best to do the same things you do," Williams later said in a message to her pregnant younger sister Serena Williams, who was absent from play this year at the All England Club. "I think there'll be other opportunities, I do."

Williams hadn't won a Wimbledon championship since 2008, when she defeated her sister. She was also going for her eighth Grand Slam singles trophy overall.

Follow More at NBC Sports

Her loss follows a difficult few weeks for the 10th-seeded American, who was involved in a car crash on June 9 near her home in Palm Beach Gardens.

See photos from the final:

14 PHOTOS
Garbine Murguruza wins first Wimbledon title
See Gallery
Garbine Murguruza wins first Wimbledon title
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 15: Garbine Muguruza of Spain victory after the Ladies Singles final against Venus Williams of The United States on day twelve of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon on July 15, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Spain's Garbine Muguruza celebrates after winning against US player Venus Williams during their women's singles final match on the twelfth day of the 2017 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 15, 2017. Muguruza won 7-5, 6-0. / AFP PHOTO / Glyn KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)
Spain's Garbine Muguruza celebrates after winning against US player Venus Williams during their women's singles final match on the twelfth day of the 2017 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 15, 2017. Muguruza won 7-5, 6-0. / AFP PHOTO / Glyn KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 15: A victorious Garbine Muguruza of Spain is embraced by Venus Williams of The United States after the Ladies Singles final on day twelve of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon on July 15, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 15: A victorious Garbine Muguruza of Spain is embraced by Venus Williams of The United States after the Ladies Singles final on day twelve of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon on July 15, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Spain's Garbine Muguruza (L) hugs US player Venus Williams after winning their women's singles final match on the twelfth day of the 2017 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 15, 2017. Muguruza won 7-5, 6-0. / AFP PHOTO / Adrian DENNIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Spain's Garbine Muguruza (L) hugs US player Venus Williams after winning their women's singles final match on the twelfth day of the 2017 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 15, 2017. Muguruza won 7-5, 6-0. / AFP PHOTO / Glyn KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 15: Garbine Muguruza of Spain celebrates victory after the Ladies Singles final against Venus Williams of The United States on day twelve of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon on July 15, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Spain's Garbine Muguruza holds up The Venus Rosewater Dish as she celebrates beating US player Venus Williams to win the women's singles final on the twelfth day of the 2017 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 15, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Adrian DENNIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Tennis - Wimbledon - London, Britain - July 15, 2017 Spain?s Garbine Muguruza celebrates winning the final against Venus Williams of the U.S. REUTERS/Matthew Childs
Spain's Garbine Muguruza celebrates after winning against US player Venus Williams during their women's singles final match on the twelfth day of the 2017 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 15, 2017. Muguruza won 7-5, 6-0. / AFP PHOTO / Glyn KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)
Tennis - Wimbledon - London, Britain - July 15, 2017 Spain?s Garbine Muguruza celebrates winning the final against Venus Williams of the U.S. REUTERS/Matthew Childs
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 15: Garbine Muguruza of Spain celebrates championship point and victory after the Ladies Singles final against Venus Williams of The United States on day twelve of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon on July 15, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

A passenger in the other vehicle, 78-year-old Jerome Barson, was rushed to the hospital, but died from his injuries 13 days later.

Barson's estate has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Williams seeking unspecified damages. Linda Barson, 68, who was driving the car, suffered numerous fractures to her arm.

It was later determined by police that Williams legally entered the intersection, but was cut off by another car — setting off a chain of events that led to the fatal crash with the Barsons.

When asked about the incident at a press conference at Wimbledon last week, the veteran player burst into tears and briefly left the room to compose herself.

Related: Venus Williams Legally Entered Intersection Before Crash, Police Say

In a message posted on her Facebook last month, Williams wrote: "I am devastated and heartbroken by this accident. My heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of Jerome Barson and I continue to keep them in my thoughts and prayers."

Williams remained focused during the tournament. In the first women's final played under the Centre Court roof, a high-quality first set gradually built toward a captivating conclusion.

In the first set, Muguruza saved two set points in the 10th game, the first a 19-stroke rally that ended when Williams netted a forehand. The Spaniard broke in the following game when another lung-bursting rally ended on a forehand error from the American.

See photos of Venus Williams:

36 PHOTOS
Venus Williams through her career
See Gallery
Venus Williams through her career
SAINT PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 02: Venus Williams of the U.S. returns the ball to Kristina Mladenovic of France during the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy-2017 tennis tournament match on February 2, 2017 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. (Photo by Il'ja Smirnov/Kommersant via Getty Images)
Tennis prodigy Venus Williams, 14 , of Pompano Beach, Florida, waits to take the court in Oakland, October 27. She will make her professional debut at the WTA Tour tournament in Oakland, on October 31, taking advantage of a soon-to-be defunct rule that admits 14-year-olds to the pro ranks
Venus Williams of the United States backhands a second set volley with Martina Hingis of Switzerland on March 23 during the third round of the Lipton Championships. Williams lost to Hingis in straight sets 6-4 6-2. SPORT TENNIS
Venus Williams (L) of the United States and sister Serena Williams laugh as they celebrate their doubles win at the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows September 12, 1999. The Williams sisters defeated Sandrine Testud of France and Chandra Rubin of the United States 4-6 6-1 6-4 to win the title. PJ
Venus Williams of the USA smiles after winning her match against Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand at the French Open at Roland Garros stadium June 1st. Venus Williams won 6-2 6-2. JCK/WS
Venus Williams of the US is all smiles as she poses for photographers with the trophy after defeating [Lindsay Davenport] in the final, July 8. Williams won the match 6-3 7-6 to take the title.
Venus Williams of the United States returns to Nathalie Tauziat of France during their match at the U.S. Open in New York September 5, 2000. PJ/SV
U.S. second world ranking tennis player Venus Williams flashes a smile as she holds up the trophy after winning the final against her compatriot Meghann Shaughnessy at the "Betty Barclay Cup 2001" in Hamburg May 6, 2001. Williams won in straight sets 6-3 6-0. CHA/CRB
Venus Williams of the U.S.A. reacts after winning her third round match against Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova at the Australian Open in Melbourne January 18, 2002. Williams won in three sets 3-6 6-0 6-4. REUTERS/Mark Baker MDB/RCS
Venus Williams of the U.S. serves during her match against Russia's Elena Bovina during the Trilogy Tennis Tournament, The Collins Cup, at the Royal Dublin Stadium in Ireland December 7, 2002. REUTERS/Paul McErlane PM/NMB/CMC
Tennis star Venus Williams applauds Reebok Human Rights Award winner [Christian Mukosa, a lawyer and human rights monitor in the Kivu provinces of the Congo], as she waits to present him his award during ceremonies in Boston, April 10, 2003. The awards are given annually to young human rights activists under the age of thirty from all over the world.
Venus Williams of the U.S. returns to Belgium's Kim Clijsters in their women's singles semi-final match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, July 3, 2003. Williams won the match 4-6 6-3 6-1. REUTERS/Ian Hodgson REUTERS IH/ASA
Venus Williams (R) shows pictures to Billie Jean King (L) during the Federations Cup match in Portoroz, April 25, 2004. REUTERS/Srdjan Zivulovic SZ
U.S tennis players Serena (L) and Venus Williams smile during a children's tennis practice session on court at Wimbledon in south west london, June 17, 2004. The Wimbledon championships begin on June 21.
Venus Williams celebrates after winning her quarterfinal match against Serena Williams at the Nasdaq 100 Open. Venus Williams celebrates after winning her quarterfinal match against her sister Serena Williams at the Nasdaq-100 Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, March 29, 2005. Venus won the match 6-1 7-6 (8-6.) The Williams sisters have meet 14 times, Serena has won five of the last six and leads the series 7-6. REUTERS/Jason Arnold
Venus Williams of the U.S reacts during her match against [Bulgaria's Sesil Karatantcheva] in the third round of the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros May 27, 2005. [Karatantcheva won 6-3 1-6 6-1.]
Venus Williams arrives during a ceremony to honor Billie Jean King at the U.S. Open in New York, August 28, 2006. The tennis center was renamed the Billie Jean King USTA Tennis Center. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES)
Venus Williams of the U.S. returns a shot to Maria Kirilenko of Russia during women's single final at the Korea Open tennis tournament in Seoul September 30, 2007. REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak (SOUTH KOREA)
Venus Williams of the U.S. returns the ball to Elena Dementieva of Russia during their quarter-final match at the WTA Dubai Tennis Championships February 19, 2009. REUTERS/Jumana El Heloueh (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES)
Venus Williams of the U.S. returns the ball to Samantha Stosur of Australia during their Madrid Open tennis quarter-final match May 14, 2010. REUTERS/Susana Vera (SPAIN - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)
U.S. tennis player Venus Williams smiles during a news conference at the Sports Congress and Exhibition at Aspire Dome in Doha November 13, 2011. Williams said Sunday she has changed her diet following the autoimmune disease that kept her out of this year's U.S. Open and is hoping the new approach will propel her back to the top of the women's tennis rankings. REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad (QATAR - Tags: SPORT TENNIS SOCIETY)
Serena Williams (L) and her sister Venus Williams, of the U.S., pose with their gold medals during the presentation ceremony for the women's doubles tennis at the All England Lawn Tennis Club during the London 2012 Olympic Games August 5, 2012. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth (BRITAIN - Tags: OLYMPICS SPORT TENNIS)
Venus Williams of the U.S. hits a return shot to Maria Kirilenko of Russia during their first round match in the 2012 Cincinnati Open tennis tournament in Cincinnati, Ohio, August 14, 2012. REUTERS/John Sommers II (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)
Venus Williams of the U.S. reacts after winning the match point during a women's singles match against Simona Halep of Romania at the Pan Pacific Open tennis tournament in Tokyo September 25, 2013. REUTERS/Yuya Shino (JAPAN - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)
Venus Williams of the U.S. holds the trophy after defeating Alize Cornet of France in their women's singles final match at the WTA Dubai Tennis Championships, February 22, 2014.REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)
Venus Williams of the U.S. smiles after defeating Anett Kontaveit of Estonia during their fourth round match at the U.S. Open Championships tennis tournament in New York, September 6, 2015. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
MIAMI, FL - NOVEMBER 29: Venus Williams attends the Ocean Drive Magazine and Roche Bobois celebrate the December Issue with Heidi Klum on November 29, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Sergi Alexander/Getty Images)
Venus Williams of the US celebrates her victory against Coco Vandeweghe of the US during their women's singles semi-final match on day 11 of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 26, 2017. / AFP / PETER PARKS / IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE (Photo credit should read PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 26: Ternnis star Venus Williams on the court during the 22nd Annual Arthur Ashe Kids' Day at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 26, 2017 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 24: Tennis player Venus Williams plays badminton during the 2017 Lotte New York Palace Invitational at Lotte New York Palace on August 24, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 24: Professional tennis player Venus Williams attends the 2017 Lotte New York Palace Invitational at Lotte New York Palace on August 24, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for LOTTE New York Palace)
CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 16: Venus Williams of the United States hits a forehand during a match in the Western & Southern Open on August 16, 2017 at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Cincinnati, OH. (Photo by Shelley Lipton/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 7: Venus Williams of the United States prepares to return a serve against Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania during Day 3 of the Rogers Cup at Aviva Centre on August 7, 2017 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 24: Tennis player Venus Williams attends the 2017 Mylan World TeamTennis Washington Kastles vs Philadelphia Freedoms match at Michael J. Hagan Arena at St. Joseph's University on July 24, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 15: Venus Williams of The United States in action against Garbine Muguruza of Spain in the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon on July 15, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Eventually, the sequence of play seemed to affect the resolve of Williams — who was trying to become the oldest woman to win Wimbledon in 109 years — and lost the second set completely in an equally astonishing turnaround.

"Well-done today, beautiful," Williams later said on court to Muguruza.

The defeat follows a year-long journey for the once-dominant tennis star, who was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease in 2011 and prevented her from competing for several years.

The condition, known as Sjogren's syndrome, can sap energy and cause joint pain. As time passed, many questioned whether Williams might retire, but she kept going and has been on a consistent winning streak over the past year.

The turning point came at Wimbledon last year when she it made it to the semifinals. Then in January, Williams reached the final of the Australian Open, losing to her sister, who was eight weeks pregnant at the time.

This year, Williams avoided a contest with Serena, who is taking a hiatus from the sport while pregnant.

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.