Published: Sat, July 13, 2019
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Serena Williams, still chasing history, faces Simona Halep in Wimbledon final

Serena Williams, still chasing history, faces Simona Halep in Wimbledon final

Halep's 6-1, 6-3 win over Svitolina gives her a fifth appearance in a Grand Slam final, tying Ilie Nastase for the most by a Romanian male or female player in the Open Era.

The 37-year-old Williams is chasing an eighth All England Club singles crown which would see her match Australian Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 major singles titles.

Simona Halep celebrates on July 13, 2019 in London. She won the French Open a year ago.

Williams is already considered the greatest in her sport with or without Court's record, but she has stated that reaching that magic number remains a goal.

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.

Halep rubbed in her superiority to break her again for 5-2 - two powerful serves earlier in the game had Williams saying why was I not able to do this earlier - and took the match and the title with aplomb with the first of her three match points.

"She played out of her mind, it was a little bit deer in the headlights for me", Williams said.

Watched on by her friend Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, Williams got on the board in the next game. "It's a day-today basis with me". "The court works for me if I play the right tactic". "Yeah, I didn't have the preparation coming into Wimbledon of training for two weeks, even". But I knew there was no time for emotions.

Following a third-round loss at the French Open on June 1, Williams underwent treatment in Paris before resuming preparations about 1½ weeks before Wimbledon began.

"Yeah, I had to get to those finals, looking back, to even be in those two finals a year ago was unbelievable", she said. "So I'm definitely at a different place", Williams said. Federer got to 63 such wins with his win over Nadal. I understand that it's what a lot of people know her for.

Halep has focused on molding her body the last decade to be the best player she can be. "It's just about going out there and giving my best effort, no matter what".

"It's really not about 24 or 23 or 25". But more than anything, the fact that she is playing without any pain in the injured knee that has hampered her for much of the season and kept her extremely low on match play (she had just 12 matches under her belt before the fortnight) has made the difference.

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