Halep wins Wimbledon, stops Williams’ bid for 24th Slam

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

Williams, who won her first Wimbledon title in 2002, found it hard to cope with the fast-moving Halep, making a total of 26 unforced errors against three by her rival.

It worked and then some as Halep broke into the opening game and then again to go 4-0 up after 11 minutes. Below all of the mentions of Serena Williams, her opponent in Saturday's final, there already was inscribed: "Miss S. Halep". Halep, trying to become the first Romanian to win at the All England Club, had lost just one set coming into the final (in the second round to Mihaela Buzărnescu) and was putting on her best grass showing since a 2014 semifinal appearance.

Just as importantly, King also said she had no issue if Williams continued to live her life the way she has been, saying it was merely a wish on her behalf to see the superstar put all her energy into tennis.

On the day, Williams, who was chasing her 24th grand slam win, was relegated to the role of bit-part actor as Halep produced an extraordinary performance. You can get intimidated by the moment. "When I was 10, 12 years old, she said I had to play the final of Wimbledon". My stomach was not very well before the match", said Halep, a 27-year-old Romanian, "but I knew there is no time for emotions.

"She played out of her mind". So today it's real.

"Feels good", Halep smiled as she tapped her newly minted, purple All England Club members' badge. I never thought that I would be able to win on grass, with all these players that are very tall and serving with a lot of power. The result: Williams steamrolled Strycova, giving Mair's followers two easy cashes. She remained rock solid throughout and Williams simply could not respond. I don't know what she wants.

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Williams was responding to a question from a journalist who told her tennis legend Billie Jean King suggested the 23-time major victor should stop trying to be a "celebrity" and concentrate on winning matches.

That much was abundantly evident on Saturday as she scorched the greatest female tennis player in the last 50 years and the most successful in terms of grand slam titles in the Open era. "You can get nervous, too nervous", she said. Every time she wins one more match helps.

"The day I stop fighting for equality and for people that look like you and me will be the day I'm in my grave", the 23-time Grand Slam champion said.

Halep thanked her mother for inspiring her. "I just didn't think about what is happening and where I am, I just wanted to be aggressive, to play my plan".

Before Wimbledon 2019, Mair told SportsLine readers to fade world No. 1 and pre-tournament favorite Ashleigh Barty despite her dominant form.

But just because Williams has dominated the rivalry doesn't mean she'll cruise to another Wimbledon crown Saturday.

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