Halep clinches maiden Wimbledon crown
Simona Halep torpedoed Serena Williams’ latest bid to capture a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam yesterday when she stormed to a sensational victory in a 56-minute Wimbledon final.
The 27-year-old Romanian captured her second career major with a 6-2, 6-2 victory adding a maiden Wimbledon -- the first for her country in both men’s and women’s singles -- to her 2018 Roland Garros triumph. Defeat for 37-year-old Williams, a seven-time Wimbledon champion who won the last of her 23 Slam titles at the 2017 Australian Open, meant her attempt to equal Margaret Court’s all-time record for major wins was put back on the ice until at least the US Open.
“My mom said when I was 10 that if I want to do something in tennis I have to play in the final at Wimbledon,” said Halep. “I had lots of nerves, my stomach wasn’t very well. I have never played a better match. “I said at the start of the tournament that one of my motivations was to win and become a lifetime member of the club.” Williams bluntly admitted she had not been at the races against a superior opponent.
“She played out of her mind. I was like a deer in the headlights,” said Williams. Williams was undone by 26 unforced errors to Halep’s two. Williams may have kept Halep waiting to go on the court but if she hoped that would upset her opponent it did quite the opposite. Indeed the Halep fan who burst into song -- waving a Romanian scarf from the 2015 Rugby World Cup -- singing “We love you, Simona, we do!” served to give her the boost to rattle Williams from the start.
A flashing forehand crosscourt set the tone and she broke her in the first game. She broke again to lead 3-0 -- things clearly not going Williams’ way when a Halep shot clipped the net and went over but the American’s shot also clipped the net but failed to go over.