“This one’s for you mom”– Halep crushes Serena in under an hour as friend Meghan looks on from Royal Box
Simona Halep fulfilled her mother’s long time wish for a Wimbledon title as she denied Serena Williams a Grand Slam record with a 6-2, 6-2 thrashing on Saturday to win the women’s final.
“It’s unbelievable to hold this trophy, Halep said. “It’s something very special.
“I’ll never forget this day. It’s always been my mother’s dream for me to win Wimbledon.
“She said if I wanted to really succeed in tennis, this is what I had to do – that days has come.”
Halep, a former No. 1 like Williams, kept the 37-year-old from a record-levelling 24th Grand Slam singles trophy – the third time in a year that Williams had failed to get over the line in a final in her continuing quest.
She was also pegged back here a year ago by Germany’s Angelique Kerber and lost to Naomi Osaka in a US Open finals meltdown in September.
Halep, competing in her fifth final at a major, added Wimbledon honours to her Roland Garros crown from 2018.
The beat-down, the worst of the Williams career in the final of a major – took just 56 minutes.
Halep added the All England Club title tray to her 2018 Roland Garros trophy.
“I’ve never played a better match than this,” Halep said. “We’ve worked very hard for this moment.
“I don’t have to words to explain my emotions.”
Halep profitted from 26 unforced errors off the Williams racquet but was out-hit by the American 17 winners to 13.
The Romanian seventh seed raced away to a 4-0 lead after 10 minutes as was never threatened.
Halep completed the rapid-fire victory with a final break in the penultimate game before calmly serving out the win on the first of three match points as Williams ploughed a forehand into the net.
“I had nerves,” the winner said. “My stomach was not very well before the match.”
Halep seemed most thrilled by the fact of her new memberships in the All England Club as a result of her title.
“I told people in the locker room at the start of the tournament that it would be amazing,” she said of her now status. “It was one of my motivations.
“I’ve got it now, so I’m happy.”
The player who had never surpassed the semi-finals here said her new-found love of grass emerged during the 2019 fortnight.
“I’ve worked a lot to change my game on grass, it’s never been easy for me.
“I like to run a lot and you cannot slide here. But I started to feel my game, I knew what to do with the ball.
“I’ve had an amazing year and an amazing tournament. It’s been an honour to win my second Grand Slam here.”
Seven-time Wimbledon champion Williams was denied as she played in an 11th final at the All England Club.
Williams was the oldest women’s Grand Slam singles finalist in the Open era.
“She played out of her mind,” Williams said of Halep, who had lost nine of the pair’s 10 matches heading into the final and stood 0-3 in Grand Slams contests against the veteran.
Williams won her first match at a major over Halep at Wimbledon in the 2011 second round.
“I was like a deer in the headlights out there,” Williams said. “When someone plays that amazing you have to take your hat off to them for their hard work.”