Romanian Simona Halep beats Serena Williams to take home her first Wimbledon title and second Grand Slam of her career.
Halep Dominated Serena in the Final
The match was over in less than an hour which serves to highlight how dominant Simona Halep was in defeating Serena Williams. Her 6-2, 6-2 victory in straight sets was a moment she has been waiting for and she expressed that in the post match press conference:
“I knew that I have to be more aggressive, being 100% for every ball, that I don’t have to let her come to the match because she’s so powerful and so strong. She knows how to manage every moment. So I knew that I have to stay there, which I did pretty well today.”-Simona Halep
The 2018 French Open champion said that she thinks this is the best match that she’s ever played and when looking at her statistics against the 23-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams, it’s hard to argue with that sentiment:
Going into the final, Halep had a 1-9 head to head record versus Williams which has to make this victory all the more satisfying. On route to the final, she defeated the likes of Victoria Azarenka as well as Elina Svitolina in the semi-final. The victory against Svitolina in particular was very telling because she usually struggles against her. That was not the case this time around as she made quick work of her long time foe defeating her in a little over an hour. That match showcased how determined she was not to let history repeat itself against two opponents (Svitolina and Williams) that have usually gotten the best of her.
In the first set of this final, she raced out to a 4-0 lead and never really looked like letting Williams get comfortable. Her defense was particularly impressive against Serena’s powerful serve. In the end there wasn’t much drama with Halep winning the final four games to secure the 2nd Grand Slam title of her career. As a former No.1 player in the world, Halep has displayed the ability to compete at the highest level but she needs Grand Slams to solidify her legacy. She has made the final of every Grand Slam except the U.S Open which one would imagine will be her new career goal. This latest victory could be a springboard for a return to the top of the sport.
What Went Wrong for Serena
Other than the excellent play of Halep, at no point in this match did Serena Williams look like she was going to be a threat. It’s not often you say that about her but the 26 unforced errors tell it’s own story. Combine that with a first serve percentage of 68% and you have the recipe for a loss. Coming into the match as a seven-time Wimbledon champion, she was seen as the clear favorite. After a half an hour played, nobody was thinking that way anymore. At her age (she will be 38 in September) some will point to that as a reason for the defeat but Serena made no excuses. She admitted that she was trying to go for too much with some of her shots while she also singled out the fact that Halep was able to return a “tremendous amount” of balls back her way.
How many opportunities Williams will have left to win her 24th Grand Slam title is impossible to predict. Today is not about Serena Williams. The day belongs to the newest member of the All England Club, Simona Halep, the 2019 Wimbledon women’s champion.