Former world No 1tennis player Simona Halep won her first
Wimbledon title after beating another former No 1, Serena Williams.
The Romanian crushed Serena Williams’ latest
bid for a record-equaling 24th Grand Slam success with a devastating 56-minute
display of athleticism.
Simona Halep, 27, won 6-2,6-2, in front of an incredulous Centre Court,
running after everything the American threw at her.
“It was my best match,”
she said after her second Grand Slam title following her 2018 French Open
For Serena Williams, 37, it was a third major final defeat in 12 months.
“She played out of her mind, it
was a little bit deer in the headlights for me,” she said.
Image source WTA Tennis
Serena Williams, like in last year’s final defeat by Angelique Kerber,
seemed weighed down by public and personal expectations as she quickly fell 4-0
behind in the opening set.
Simona Halep had said beforehand that she had no pressure on her and that is
exactly how she played.
Defeat means Serena Williams’ wait for a first Grand Slam title since becoming a mum continues, as does her pursuit of an eighth Wimbledon singles title.
Simona Halep had lost nine of her
previous 10 meetings with Serena Williams.
She has now won the past two Grand
Slam finals she has appeared in, having been defeated in the three before that.
Serena Williams has lost her past three.
Although 56 minutes is a quick
victory, it is some way off the fastest Grand Slam final win – Steffi Graf’s
34-minute French Open win of 1988.
Simona Halep, who began the championships as world No 7, will rise to No 4 when the next rankings are published on Monday, July 15.
Former tennis champion Jana Novotna has died of cancer at the age of 49.
The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) said Jana Novotna “died peacefully, surrounded by her family”.
She had lost in the
Wimbledon final in 1993 and 1997 before winning the Grand Slam tournament when she beat Nathalie Tauziat in 1998.
The Czech player captured the hearts of fans when she burst into tears after losing to Steffi Graf in 1993 and was consoled by the Duchess of Kent.
Image source Wikipedia
WTA chief executive Steve Simon said:
“Jana was an inspiration both on and off court to anyone who had the opportunity to know her.
“Her star will always shine brightly in the history of the WTA. Our condolences and our thoughts are with Jana’s family.”
Jana Novotna was renowned for her serve and volley game and achieved a career-high singles ranking of No 2.
In addition to her only singles
Grand Slam win at Wimbledon, Jana Novotna claimed 12 Grand Slam doubles titles and four in mixed doubles.
Jana Novotna was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 2005.
Serena Williams won this year’s French Open final against Czech 13th seed Lucie Safarova to claim her 20th Grand Slam title.
WTA No 1 Serena Williams, 33, needed two hours and one minute to win 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 6-2 at Roland Garros.
Lucie Safarova, who played her first Grand Slam final, led by a break in the decider but Serena Williams won the last six games.
Serena Williams becomes the third player – male or female – to win 20 major singles titles.
Only Germany’s Steffi Graf on 22 has won more since the open era began in 1968, with Australia’s Margaret Court collecting 24 between 1960 and 1973.
Victory at Wimbledon in July would see Serena Williams hold all four major titles at once, having managed the feat already in 2003.
Romanian Simona Halep has won Indian Wells tournament after beating Serbian Jelena Jankovic 2-6 7-5 6-4.
2010 Indian Wells champion Jelena Jankovic, 30, looked in control after winning the first set with three breaks of serve and breaking early in set two.
World No 3 Simona Halep, 23, broke the Serb four times in a second set that saw six successive breaks.
The decider was also dominated by breaks of serve with four in a row but Simona Halep held at 3-3 and recorded the 18th break of the match to win it.
“Simona was unbelievable,” said Jelena Jankovic.
“We were running like two dogs and in the end I couldn’t keep up any more. She’s the younger one.”
Simona Halep, who received a bye to the final after Serena Williams pulled out of their semi-final with an injury, was expected to be fresher, having had three days off.
But it was Jelena Jankovic who began more aggressively, breaking in the opening game.
Simona Halep broke back immediately but two more breaks by Jelena Jankovic saw her wrap up the first set.
The second set was a topsy-turvy affair with the players exchanging six breaks of serve before Simona Halep held and broke Jelena Jankovic to level the match.
The momentum seemed to be with the Romanian with a tiring Jelena Jankovic repeatedly looking to her coach for inspiration.
The former world No 1 broke fortuitously in game three when a backhand clipped the top of the net and landed in.
That sparked another flurry of service breaks that saw the score move on to 3-3.
Eventually Simona Halep held and then broke Jelena Jankovic’s serve to lead 5-3 but the Serb summoned up enough energy to hit back in the next.
However, fittingly, the match ended with another break.
A ninth double fault gifted Simona Halep three Championship points and she powered a forehand down the middle of the court to wrap up the biggest win of her career in two hours and 37 minutes.
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