Case in point? The gracious and beautiful speech she gave in the interview following her defeat, in which she kept her head held high and told moms watching, "I was playing for you today."
As Williams headed off the court following Kerber's victory, the interviewer opened with, "It's only your fourth tournament back [since giving birth to her daughter, Alexis], and you didn't know what to expect. You had such a great tournament, and you played so well."
Williams, nodding and emotional, replied, "It was such an amazing tournament for me. I was really happy to get this far."
She continued, her voice breaking a bit as the stands erupted in applause: "It's obviously disappointing, but I can't be disappointed. I have so much to look forward to—I'm literally just getting started. So I look forward to it."
"You've hardly played any matches, absolutely," the interviewer said. "I tell you, there are mums everywhere that say, 'How has she done this?' You are super-human supermum."
"No, I'm just me and that's all I can be," Williams responded. "But for all the moms out there, I was playing for you today, and I tried. But you know, Angelique played really well; she played out of her mind, so you know, it was really good, and I look forward to just continuing to be back out here and doing what I do best."
Wimbledon's official account tweeted a clip of the interview with the caption, "Grace, poise and emotion. A runner-up's interview given by a true champion."
You can see that her words touched two fans in the stands in particular—notably Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton, who were both in attendance at the final round. At the 40-second mark in the clip below, both duchesses—one a mom herself, the other Williams' close friend—look visibly moved as Williams talks about playing for the moms watching the match.
The interviewer then asked what she said to Kerber during their hug after her victory. Williams responded, "Well, she's an incredible person, Angelique is, and she's a really good friend, so I'm really happy for it. It's her first title so I know she's going to really enjoy it and enjoy the moment. So congrats again, it's amazing."
Fans reacted to her speech with a ton of support, emphasizing the life-threatening complications that arose during her daughter's birth and the incredible way Williams drove herself in just a few matches to be a Wimbledon finalist.
Her husband, Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian, also posted an incredible tribute to Williams:
"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."
A true champion, even in defeat—and definitely, absolutely, still the G.O.A.T.