John McEnroe issues Serena Williams warning after Simona Halep wins Wimbledon
14 July, 2019, 12:42 | Author: Heidi Alvarez
Williams had only lost the first set 6-2 in five previous Grand Slam finals, with the results all following the same win-loss pattern - but that record was broken on Centre Court on Saturday. Two years ago she lost a French Open final from being a set and 3-0 up, and she had also lost two other grand slam titles before winning in Paris last year.
On this cloudy, cool afternoon, with the temperature in the low 70s (low 20s Celsius), Halep began with a pair of service breaks and even delivered the match's first ace, at 106 miles per hour, which put her out front 4-0 after 11 astonishing minutes.
Her only win had come at the season-ending WTA Finals in Singapore in 2014. The Romanian needed only 26 minutes to take the first set and, despite the American's rally late in the second set, held on to capture the victory at the All England Club.
First things first: Check out colleague Liz Clarke's detailed preview of the match, where you can read about how Halep improved her grass-court game and why Williams is playing stronger than she has all year.
Serena Williams just lost the Wimbledon final, but that won't stop her from fighting another battle - against inequality. Before taking her seat, she had some royal duties to attend to, meeting with some of the junior players from Russia, Latvia and France. "Congratulations, Simona. I mean, whenever a player plays that awesome, you just kind of have to take your hat off and give them a nod of the head".
Halep, charm and joy personified, agreed she had never played better.
"I just came out on court to do my best". Even after winning long rally points - and she won nearly all of them - she never did anything more than clench a fist and raise it near her face in her trademark fashion. I don't know what she wants. "You just have to understand that that was their day today", said Williams, who won the last of her 23 majors while already pregnant with her daughter Olympia at the 2017 Australian Open.
Grass is Williams' favorite surface, and while some questioned her fitness entering Wimbledon 2019, she silenced any doubts with a 59-minute thrashing of Barbora Strycova in the quarterfinals. 'I always thought she could win, I told her if she could move Serena from the very first ball she had a chance, otherwise she gets all over you if you let her, ' said Tiriac, now 80.
"She didn't say anything because she was crying", smiled Halep. "You can get nervous, too nervous", she said.
"I didn't think at all against who I play".
As for Halep, the 2018 French Open champion is feeling herself as well.
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