Wimbledon: Historic high for Simona Halep

Updated: Jul 12, 2019, 09:32 IST | AFP

Former World No. 1 Simona thrilled to beat Elina Svitolina 6-1, 6-3 in semis to become Romania's first Wimbledon final entrant; will meet Serena Williams

Wimbledon: Historic high for Simona Halep
Simona Halep

London: Simona Halep became the first Romanian woman to reach the Wimbledon final yesterday when she defeated Ukraine's Elina Svitolina 6-1, 6-3. The seventh seed, 27, who was French Open champion in 2018, will be playing in her fifth Grand Slam final. "It's an amazing feeling but I am also excited and nervous. It is one of the best moments of my life," said Halep.

Halep's tactics work
"The match was not easy, the games were long and went deep. "I fought hard to win this match and I was strong mentally and physically and had the right tactics." Halep will face seven-time champion Serena Williams, who made short work of plucky unseeded Czech Barbora Strycova, whose experience of her first ever Grand Slams singles semi-final in her 53rd campaign lasted just under an hour as she lost 6-1, 6-2.

Ukraine's Elina Svitolina
Ukraine's Elina Svitolina

Halep is the last woman standing between Williams and achieving her long held ambition of equalling Margaret Court's Grand Slam title record. Halep, who had knocked out new star, Coco Gauff, 15, in the last 16, lost in her previous semi-final appearance at Wimbledon to Eugenie Bouchard in 2014. However, she said she was a different player now and had taken to grass.

"I have more experience, I don't give up anymore," she said. "I plan to be the best version of myself and fight to the end." The easy manner in which former World No. 1 Halep wrapped up the match had not looked on the cards at the outset.

Svitolina, being watched from the players box by her English coach Andy Bettles and French boyfriend and ATP star Gael Monfils, briefly raised her game to break back. However, Halep broke again immediately and Svitolina, 24, gave an indication of her increasing frustration when she netted a simple volley and lashed out, kicking the ball into the net.

Serena Williams
Serena Williams

Meanwhile, Williams has missed the chance to equal Australian Court's record on two occasions since returning from giving birth — losing last year's Wimbledon final and then a bad-tempered defeat in the US Open final. "It feels good to be in the final again after the year I have had," said Williams, 37.

I feel good: Serena
"I have just needed matches to feel good and do what I do best and that is play tennis. I have a great job and I am still pretty good at it," said Williams.

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