Jul/19

13

Halep Wallops Serena

Showing no signs of intimidation or stage fright, Simona Halep performed the best tennis of her career on the grandest stage of all, destroying Serena Williams 62 62.

The American legend held a dominant 7-1 head to head record vs Halep but it was the fleet-footed Romanian who was the complete master of the court today, bombing Williams with an assault of non stop groundstrokes that rarely seemed to miss.

Halep moved around the court like a gazelle, constantly defending and then snapping pinpoint winners when the opportunity presented. It was the finest display of defensive tennis you can ask to see. Williams looked helpless and had no answers. She tried to roar her way back into the one sided battle early in the second set but nothing worked, nothing she imagined in her competitive brain was able to offset Halep.

Williams had one last surge of a rally left down 26 24 and love 30 in the second set, she hit three service winners. But Halep withstood the desperate fight back by Williams and broke and the served out the championship at love.

For Halep, it is her second major title. For Williams, it’s her third major final defeat in a row, all in straight sets.

Before the match Halep discussed the importance of the strength of her legs and that she is a mentally stronger player now and she backed up those words against arguably the greatest player of all time in her most desperate, most urgent hour. At 38, Williams has to know this could have been her absolute last chance to win the elusive 24th major title to break the Margaret Court record.

But Williams was unable to thwart the Halep Express in any way today. The misery for Williams continues but the joy and jubilation for Halep and Romania has only just begun.

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24 comments

  • catherine · July 13, 2019 at 10:55 am

    I predicted Simona losing because I wanted her to win and felt she had a chance. Not just superstition but from comments she made about her approach to W’don and her state of mind. She was talking about losing Paris and how it wasn’t the end of the world ‘ I did everything I wanted (in winning 2018) so now everything comes as a bonus. I don’t want to stress too much about the result.’ I think she and her coach planned the match and she followed the plan perfectly.Her strength is ground strokes and she stuck to that. Serena has a weakness against this kind of game, more so now, and she had no answers. Really, it was amazing. Patrick clearly did not do too well in preparation. Joy in Costanta and the whole of Roumania 🙂

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 13, 2019 at 11:00 am

    Only three unforced errors by Halep. She said she never played a better match ever. Serena praised Halep saying “when someone plays out of their mind like that, you just have to take your hat off.”

  • catherine · July 13, 2019 at 11:56 am

    Who’s Simona going to dance with tomorrow night ?

  • H · July 13, 2019 at 12:26 pm

    Billie Jean King put it well in her tweet:

    “Congratulations to @Simona_Halep on a tremendous win. One of the most perfectly executed matches I’ve ever seen. She’s Romania’s first-ever singles champion! Incredible tennis. 🎾#Wimbledon”

  • catherine · July 13, 2019 at 1:37 pm

    Serena is talking in interviews as though she is going on playing indefinitely, making improvements to her game etc. At nearly 38 I can’t see this as a reasonable proposition for her. Most women tend towards retirement around 30-33 or so, one reason for higher turnover cf. the men’s game.

    No one has really challenged her on this. Are they nervous about mentioning it ?

  • Vijay · July 13, 2019 at 3:38 pm

    I think Serena wants one final run at full health. I’m willing to but she gained more than 20 pounds during her pregnancy, and it’s awfully hard to lose that kind of weight while also maintaining muscle mass. Probably contributed to her knee issues.

  • Jeff · July 13, 2019 at 4:58 pm

    I’m happy to say I was dead wrong. The Goat has been killed for good. What a performance by the Rumanian sensation.

    A slaughter of that nature should be a fine for the loser, no? Less than an hour for that at those ticket prices? I am sure the Dutchess was not pleased~

  • Jeff · July 13, 2019 at 7:59 pm

    Serena fans disgracing themselves with excuses for their queen, as usual. She hasn’t practiced enough, she is 38, etc. etc. etc.

    The problem is will she fix those issues? BJK said she needs to focus on tennis and Serena answered that question so stupidly by yakking about equality again. The real issue is why is she doing fashion with Vogue magazine instead of training to win these Slams? It’s obvious to anyone who has ever held a racket that she needs to play more. I am sure her coaches know that, especially the Patrick guy who was in love with her before.

  • Jeff · July 13, 2019 at 8:12 pm

    Federer is 38-4 this year, losing to Tsitsipas in Australia, Thiem in Indian Wells and Madrid and Nadal in Paris.

    He was probably going to quit playing on clay for good but the younger generation was so bad that he could come back and not miss a beat and beat them to a pulp with ease.

    Even Murray wants in on the action now that he has seen the NextGen flounder. Murray will be in the top 10 in no time even at half-speed.

    I foresee an even greater rise of the Big 4 over the next five years!

  • Jeff · July 13, 2019 at 9:47 pm

    Novak posted a shirtless Gladiator video of himself on social media today. I can’t see him being stopped now.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 13, 2019 at 10:48 pm

    Maybe Serena is delusional but as they say, it’s the crazy ones who change the world.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 13, 2019 at 10:49 pm

    Going to be very challenging for Serena’s body to endure seven matches on hard courts in NY and Australia. Forget about clay in Paris. And in one year she will have declined even more. This may indeed have been Serena’s last crack at 24. Dan are you ready to bring out the shovel for Serena?

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 13, 2019 at 10:51 pm

    Jeff, Serena battled and fought as hard as she could but she collided today with a dynamo who played a perfect match and may have exhibited unbeatable tennis. Not sure if anyone from history beats Simona today.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 13, 2019 at 10:59 pm

    Jeff, Serena cruised to the final, she was ready, she was in form, she just got clobbered by a masterpiece performance of near tennis perfection.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 13, 2019 at 11:00 pm

    Did Federer admit he should have played clay the last three years? He proved this year it was the right plan. Clay prep helped create this Wimble final run.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 13, 2019 at 11:01 pm

    Djokovic gets more up for Federer than any other player. He loves to beat Federer. I think even more so than Nadal.

  • catherine · July 14, 2019 at 1:18 am

    Jeff – as Serena totters into her 40s she should take a look at Kerber and Muguruza (much younger) and see what happens when you get too interested in fashion spreads and take your eyes off the tennis ball. Since her slightly weird Vogue shoot came out around the AO Angie’s record has been patchy to say the least and Muguruza was in Cosmopolitan to coincide with her W’don exit. Same thing too with Angie in 2017 when she got to No 1 and to Mugs when she won W’don. These women can’t resist when the glossies come calling. It’s not the money. It’s vanity.

    Fact is, Serena’s body is now past it, quite naturally, and Patrick should tell her that and run off to be Gauff’s coach, something he’s dying to do. Does the man have no shame ?

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 14, 2019 at 7:57 am

    Players agents go running calling begging or paying the glosses. For Serena to say she played poorly because she was trying new things has got to be one of the most clever sophisticated excuses ever used. Why would Serena suddenly try new things? I saw no new things did you?

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 14, 2019 at 8:20 am

    If I was in Wimbledon yesterday my question to Serena would be, Did Patrick suggest you try these new things and what new things did you try vs Halep? also I heard a rumor that Patrick pays you to act as your coach? If this is true, would you reveal the fees?

  • catherine · July 14, 2019 at 9:29 am

    I didn’t see any ‘new things’- seemed the same game she’s played the whole tournament and for the last couple of years at least. As you say Scoop, why would Serena try new things when the old ones have worked pretty well in the past ? Overall she’s just a few steps slower and Simona took advantage of that and also returned pretty well and made only 3 UEs. Simona also said she spent pretty much the whole of Friday’s practice on returns, if I remember correctly.

    Patrick did a lot of holding forth, as usual, whenever I saw him he was yapping away. And I would guess Simona and her team did their homework and Serena and her team did not.

  • catherine · July 14, 2019 at 10:04 am

    Just watched an upload of the whole match (thanks someone) and Serena was huffing and puffing and rolling her eyes from early on and her body language was telling Simona everything she needed to know. Simona was incredible on so many points – agility, speed, placement. No long rallies and that seemed to suit her in the end. I wonder if she’s watching the men’s final. She does watch quite a few men’s matches. Fed is her favourite.

  • catherine · July 14, 2019 at 12:47 pm

  • catherine · July 14, 2019 at 3:45 pm

    Well he won so he can just go there and luxuriate 🙂

    Simona wasn’t looking forward to dancing with Djoko but she said ‘if he asks me I’ll have to’. Kerber did that last year but I suspect Simona can’t dance. She’s probably never had time to learn.

  • Jeff · July 14, 2019 at 7:44 pm

    Fed fans are in an uproar to lose that match. What a tennis epic, proving that the younger generation cannot top these giants.

    I look forward to more of these matchups in the coming years!

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