Wednesday 21 August 2019

Halep denies Serena dream

Serena Williams during the women's singles final. Photo: Toby Melville/Pool/PA Wire
Serena Williams during the women's singles final. Photo: Toby Melville/Pool/PA Wire

Independent.ie Sportdesk

Serena Williams remains tantalisingly one short of a record-equalling 24 Grand Slam singles titles after Simona Halep thrashed the off-key American in a one-sided Wimbledon final yesterday.

Halep began the week halting American 15-year-old Coco Gauff's dream run and will end it at the Champions Ball after dismantling seven-times winner Williams 6-2 6-2 with an inspired display on Centre Court. She is Romania's first Wimbledon singles champion.

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The 27-year-old broke the Williams serve in the opening game and raced into a 4-0 lead in front of 15,000 incredulous fans. She made only three unforced errors in a remarkable display of defence and counter-punching. Williams could not respond and even when she fired herself up at the start of the second set and began thumping the ball with customary power, Halep refused to back off.

Halep weathered the squall, then reeled off the last five games of what she described as the match of her life.

Williams has now lost three Grand Slam finals without winning a set since returning to action last March, following the birth of daughter Olympia. "She played out of her mind," Williams, who had won nine of her previous 10 matches against Halep, said.

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