Wimbledon: Simona Halep thwarts Serena Williams' history bid with stunning triumph

Duchess of Cambridge Duchess of Sussex and Pippa Middleton take their seats

Duchess of Cambridge Duchess of Sussex and Pippa Middleton take their seats

Seventh seed Simona Halep crushed eight-time victor Serena Williams in straight sets to win the women's singles title of the Wimbledon championships here on Saturday.

Williams is a seven-time Wimbledon champion, while the final marked her first at Wimbledon for Halep, who only just won her first major tournament a year ago at the 2018 French Open.

After falling in her last two major finals, at Wimbledon previous year and the US Open soon after, it seemed like Williams had finally hit her stride after coming back from a complicated childbirth and maternity leave.

On this cloudy, cool afternoon, with the temperature in the low 70s (low 20s Celsius), Halep began with a pair of service breaks and even delivered the match's first ace, at 106 miles per hour, which put her out front 4-0 after 11 astonishing minutes.

Williams had faced only one top-30 player coming into the final - Germany's Julia Goerges in the third round - hence when she came up against former world number one Halep, she found herself ambushed with no way out.

In contrast, Halep's tally stood at just three as the Romanian produced what she hailed as the "best tennis of my life". Halep was previously 0-3 against Williams in Grand Slam matches. You can get intimidated by the moment.

"Those finals I lost in the past helped me for this moment", she said.

"I never played a better match", Halep said after the 56-minute Wimbledon final, as quoted by AFP. Before taking her seat, she had some royal duties to attend to, meeting with some of the junior players from Russia, Latvia and France. "I think my opponent just played unbelievable".

"Well I had nerves, my stomach wasn't well before".

After winning the title, a jubilant Halep said: "It was the best match and of course Serena always inspired us so thank you for that". I said that every time I would play a final of Grand Slam, I will do exactly the same thing. She didn't merely play defense, though, managing to go from retrieving an apparent point-ending stroke by Williams to lashing a victor of her own in a blink. I don't know what she wants.

Serena Williams has recently been sticking up for her friend in the press and praised her for her friendship. "Congratulations, Simona. It was a little bit "a deer in the headlights" for me", Williams said.

"I wish she would just make a commitment for the next year-and-a-half to two years and just say, "I'm going to absolutely devote what's necessary for my tennis so when I look in the mirror when I'm older that I can go back in my mind and know I gave everything I had and be happy".

Williams hasn't won a major title since beating her sister, Venus, at the 2017 Australian Open.

"The cycles of poverty, discrimination, and sexism are much, much harder to break than the record for Grand Slam titles", she wrote. You can get nervous, too nervous. "I just told her that we'll talk later". She was Wimbledon champion.

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