Halep pays tribute to Aussie coach after surprise Wimbledon final win

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

"She played out of her mind", Williams, who had won nine of her previous 10 matches against Halep, said on court after picking up the runners-up salver for the second straight year, having ran into a similarly inspired Angelique Kerber last year.

As the women's final at Wimbledon approached, most experts predicted that Serena Williams would overcome Simona Halep to win the title and equal Margaret Court's record Grand Slam singles title count of 24. The greatest example: Halep recorded the critical go-ahead break in the fifth game of the second set when, after chasing down a few heavy Williams blasts, she hooked a desperation crosscourt shot that left Williams with an easy backhand down-the-line putaway. "It was my mum's dream when I was about 10", she said.

She had a simple but poignant message: "The day I stop fighting for equality. will be the day I'm in my grave".

"I will believe that I have my chance to win against her [Williams]", she said after beating Svitolina.

Williams' serve was not dominating the way it often does, and she had 26 unforced errors, which Halep took advantage of nearly every time.

Serena Williams delivered a stinging rebuke to fellow tennis legend Billie Jean King who said she should focus on tennis and stop behaving like a celebrity and fighting for equality.

"In the meantime, I got pregnant, had a baby, so. that definitely plays a little bit into it". This is not the kind of background din you need when trying to win a Grand Slam.

"If she's happy doing it this way, it's fine", King said. She had just 13 in the match.

More news: Serena Williams Loses Wimbeldon to Simona Halep

But it was Halep who wowed the fans, haring across the turf to whip a superb backhand on her way to a second break which she sealed with a flashing backhand return victor.

King added it's "not fair" to ask that of Williams, but it's "just a wish I have" to see what the star could do if tennis were her only focus.

Halep joked she was most excited about securing membership at Wimbledon for life with the victory. Because if you listen to him, you get the good things. I just go out there and play, see what happens.

Reaching the final is a remarkable achievement in itself and not just because it means Williams has now played in the final of a Grand Slam tournament in each of the last 13 years.

"But this year, as I said every day, I started to feel the game more and more".

Halep, ten years younger than Williams, was seeded seventh in the Ladies' draw at the All England Club.

Serena Williams congratulates Simona Halep after the Romanian's dominant victory on Centre Court.

"In everything she does, Serena shines a light on what all of us must fight for in order to achieve equality for all".

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