Simona Halep produced the performance of her life on Centre Court this afternoon to crush Serena Williams’ dream of a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title.
Williams was looking to level Margaret Court’s record of titles, but was completely blown away by Halep, who thwarted the American’s superior power by chasing down ball after ball to win 6-2, 6-2 in less than an hour.
Halep broke serve in the very first game of the match and then raced into a 4-0 lead in just 11 minutes, following a second break.
And while Williams slightly rallied towards the end of the first set and at the beginning of the second, it was only the briefest of suggestions of a comeback.
Williams’ wait for a 24th Grand Slam goes on, this being her third major final defeat inside 12 months.
But in truth Williams, who was beaten in last year’s final here by German Angelique Kerber, could not cope with the athleticism of Halep, the first Romanian Wimbledon champion, who closed out victory by winning three consecutive games.
After the match Williams admitted: “She really played out of her mind. Whenever a player plays that amazing you just have to take your hat off and give her a nod.”
An emotional Halep told the Centre Court crowd: “It was my best match.
“My stomach was not very well before the match. But I had no time for emotions and just came out and tried my best.
“It was my mum’s dream when I was about 10. And the day came and my mum is here to see it. I have worked a lot to change a little bit my game to play on grass.
“I started to feel this year when the ball comes to me I knew what to do with it. I can’t wait to come back here.”
“At the beginning of the tournament I told people in the locker room that if I win it will be amazing because then I get membership here for life so that was one of my motivations before, so now I’m happy.”