Simona Halep crushes Serena Williams in Wimbledon final

Simona Halep crushes Serena Williams in Wimbledon final

Serena Williams remained tantalisingly one short of a record-equalling 24 Grand Slam singles titles as Simona Halep thrashed the off-key American in a one-sided Wimbledon final on Saturday.

Williams' serve sets her apart from the rest of the women's game but Halep had a read on it from the first point and she took advantage of a tight start from the American to break in the opening game. When Williams failed to return the final rally that clinched the match, Halep sank to her knees and raised her racket high above her head, closing her eyes and grinning in triumph.

"I'm desperate to win Wimbledon more than to stop her", said Halep, who defeated Elina Svitolina 6-1, 6-3 in the semifinals.

Her hopes of winning a first Grand Slam tournament since 2017 appeared slim, but Williams has come into form at the right time.

"The day before the women's final, eight-time Wimbledon victor and Halep's idol Federer overcame Rafael Nadal in his semi-final, before offering his support to the world number seven, saying she should "back herself" and show a "winner mentality".

A quick study of their rivalry would also suggest Williams will probably be the one holding aloft the Venus Rosewater dish considering she has won nine of their previous 10 meetings.

It's women's final day at SW19 and meeting, in what was in reality a very hard final to predict, are Serena Williams and Simona Halep.

"That was one of my motivations before this tournament, so now I'm happy", she said.

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"I had nerves - my stomach was not very well before the match but knew there was no time for emotions, so I just came on court and gave my best", the seventh seed said. "The time is now to get out there and to watch us play, I guess".

History isn't on Halep's side - she has a 1-9 record against Williams - but the fact that she's playing better on grass than ever before in her career should bolster her self-belief. "I was really calm", she said.

"It was a little bit a deer in headlights for me. I'm always expected to win, but it's a different circumstance for me", Williams said.

"I have learned that it's a normal match, not thinking that much about the trophy, just going there and try to be the best as you can".

In front of a host of royal faces and various celebrities, Halep delivered the performance of a lifetime.

When she won the 2018 French Open, she exited Wimbledon in the third round and the US Open at the first hurdle. But it's cool. Yeah, no matter which way you look at it, [Federer and I are] not going to be out here in the next three, four, five years. Of course, I respect a lot what she has done and what she's doing.

"I really want to do it".

"I just needed some matches and every match I know I keep improving". The royal posse, which also included Genevieve Hillis and Lindsay Roth, turned out for the Women's Final.