LONDON, Great Britain - Serena Williams was effusive in her praise of Simona Halep following a 6-2, 6-2 defeat in the Wimbledon final.
"She just played great. So I don't think it's a surprise for anyone to play great against me," Williams said after the 56-minute match, which was her first loss to Halep in five years.
"I just was trying different things. Today nothing really helped, but I also made way too many errors for a lot of stuff to work.
"I think she was getting so many balls back. I do have a strategy for players that do get a lot of balls back, which I thought about far too late. I think I was overhitting it, trying to go for too much. She was getting just a tremendous amount of balls back.
"I just have to figure out a way to win a final. Maybe it is playing other finals outside of Grand Slams would be really helpful just to kind of get in the groove so by the time I get to a Grand Slam final I'm kind of used to what to do and how to play."
Looking to win her 24th Grand Slam singles title in her third final appearance since coming back to tennis after her daughter's birth, Williams was largely undone by the elite counterpunching of Halep, and made 26 unforced errors.
"I'm always expected to win, but it's a different circumstance for me. It seems like every Grand Slam final I'm in recently has been an unbelievable effort to get there," Williams said.
"It would be interesting to see how it would be under different circumstances. I can't say that I have a lot of tension or super tense. The only thing I can say is today, I think my opponent played unbelievable.
"I don't know if there's anything I could have done differently. I think I gave a great effort for this fortnight. Again, I just think Simona just played her heart out. If anything, I could just learn to be like that."
The loss marked her most one-sided defeat in a major final, as she had previously won five games in defeats to Maria Sharapova (2004 Wimbledon) and Samantha Stosur (2011 US Open).
The 37-year-old has now reached the final in three of her last six appearances at Grand Slams, and now turns her eyes towards making history at the US Open.
In New York, she is a six-time champion and finished runner-up to Naomi Osaka last year.
"I'm entered in Toronto and Cincinnati. I don't think I need to play San Jose in addition to that. I think there's a limit," Williams said of her upcoming schedule.
"I think if I overdo it, then that could also be a problem, as well. Especially on the hard courts. I've been on the softer surfaces, so to say. It would be interesting to see how my knee is on the hard court.
"I feel like I'm still incredibly competitive or else I wouldn't really be out here, per se. For the most part, I feel like I'm on the right track. I'm just going in the right direction in terms of getting back to where I need to be."