For Simona Halep, winning her first Wimbledon title would have been enough to make July 13 a day to remember – but it turned out she had another surprise in store.
The seeds for the exciting meet-up were planted earlier this week, when the Romanian player told the press that she had the Duchess of Cambridge on the brain.
“If you could have one person watching you from the royal box [for the finals], who would it be?” a reporter asked after her semifinal victory against Coco Gauff.
Simona broke into a smile and paused for five seconds, mulling it over, before finally answering.
“Kate,” she decided with a grin. “I like her.”
Not only did Kate come to the match, but she also helped set up a surprise meeting with Simona in the royal box.
“You mentioned in your press conference that you were hoping that the Duchess of Cambridge would be here today. She’s there along with the Duchess of Sussex as well,” Clare told Simona on camera after her win.
“You talked about the membership, but you’ll also get to see your name up on the honors board, and then you’ll go to the royal box – and you’ll probably meet them,” she continued.
“That’s amazing!” Simona said, visibly excited, as Kate, Meghan and the crowd broke into cheers and laughter. “I didn’t know that, so it’s even more special now!”
“Thank you for coming, everyone from the royal family,” she added. “It’s been an honor to play here and win my second Grand Slam here.” (Simona won her first title at the 2018 French Open.)
When Simona and Kate finally met, the tennis pro adorably curtsied for the duchess, making her giggle.
“Really well done, honestly,” Kate told her. “It was so inspiring to watch. You played an incredible game. It was really, really impressive. So, congratulations and enjoy the celebrations.”
Once she was back in the press room, Simona had nothing but good things to say about her interaction with the royal.
“It was an honor to play in front of her,” she gushed. “I had the chance to meet her after the match. She’s very kind, very nice. It was an extra boost when I saw all of them there, the royal family. And you know, winning in this position, it’s really nice. It’s unforgettable.”
Stars Hit Wimbledon 2019View Gallery