Seventh-seeded Simona Halep played the best tennis of her life and ruined Serena Williams’ chance for a 24th Grand Slam title on Saturday, winning 6-2, 6-2 in the women’s singles final at Wimbledon.
It took Halep just 26 minutes to take the first set. Halep had just two unforced errors as she raced out to the early lead.
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Williams started stronger in the second set as the pair traded holds until it was 2-2, but Halep broke her in the fifth game and never looked back — reeling off the next three games to seal the victory after just 56 minutes of play.
“She literally played out of her mind,” said Williams. “Congratulations, Simona. It was a little bit of deer in the headlights from me. When someone plays like that you have to tip your cap and nod your head.”
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Asked if she’d ever had a better performance, Halep was emphatic.
“Never,” said Halep. “Serena always inspired us so thanks for that. It’s an honor to play in front of the Royal Box. I have no words to explain.”
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It’s just the second Grand Slam title for Halep, who won the French Open in 2018. It’s also the first time a player from Romania has won a singles title at Wimbledon.
“I have worked a lot to change my game, to be able to win matches on grass,” said Halep. “It was an amazing tournament and I can’t wait to come back.”
Williams, seeded 11th, was making make her 11th appearance in the singles finals at the All England Club and trying for her eighth title here. Williams has 23 Grand Slam tournament titles, one short of tying Australian legend Margaret Court for the most all-time.
Williams falls to 9-3 all-time against the 27-year-old Halep. The past two meetings were also on the Grand Slam stage. Williams won in three sets in the 2019 Australian Open and took another three-setter at the 2016 US Open.