Simona Halep : Born in Constanța, ROMANIA; Simona Halep was WTA number 1 ranked player from October 9, 2017 to January 28, 2018 and from February 26, 2018 to January 27, 2019 , total: 64 weeks.
SIMONA HALEP Career Highlights:
2017 – First No.1 season; 2018 – Second No.1 season
Winner (19): 2019-Wimbledon; 2018 – Shenzhen, Roland Garros, Montréal; 2017 – Madrid; 2016 – Madrid, Bucharest, Montréal; 2015 – Shenzhen, Dubai, Indian Wells; 2014 – Doha, Bucharest; 2013 – Nürnberg, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Budapest, New Haven, Moscow, Sofia.
Finalist (17): 2019 – Doha, Madrid; 2018 – Australian Open, Rome, Cincinnati; 2017 – Rome, Roland Garros, Cincinnati, Beijing; 2015 – Toronto, Cincinnati; 2014 – Madrid, Roland Garros, WTA Finals; 2012 – Brussels; 2011 – Fès; 2010 – Fès.
Winner (1): 2018 – Shenzhen (w/Begu).
Finalist (1): 2016 – Montréal (w/Niculescu).
History wastes no time listening to those who speak of what is likely to happen. History heeds only those who make it happen – and in the women’s final at Wimbledon 2019, Simona Halep wrote her own name large. The No.7 seed, whose name appeared on no one’s list of likely winners before The Championships began, became the first Romanian to win a Wimbledon singles title.
She stunned Serena Williams, the Centre Court crowd and almost everyone on Planet Tennis to triumph 6-2, 6-2 in just 55 minutes, with a display so resourceful, so near-flawless that there could be no answer.
Two-and-a-half long years after Williams secured her 23rd Grand Slam title at the 2017 Australian Open, this toweringly remarkable woman found she must wait still longer for the elusive 24th crown to equal Margaret Court’s all-time record.
Twelve months ago Angelique Kerber defied her here; few could envisage Halep stonewalling Williams again on the same court – yet she did. In this battle of the former world No.1s, history was written, and history was denied; and the whole was utterly thrilling.
In the build-up to the showdown, every observer had it down pat what Halep would need to do if she was to have a chance of confounding her 1-9 career record against Williams. She needed to keep the points long (coming into this match, Williams had finished 75 per cent of her points in four shots or fewer this Wimbledon), she needed to move Williams around; she needed to deliver her own first serve in order to avoid Williams demolishing her second delivery; she somehow needed to make an impression on the fearsome Williams serve, a weapon so effective it can simply take the racket out of an opponent’s hands… and even if Halep played her best, Williams still had the power to neutralise all those skills.
In the first set, Halep had jaws on the floor as she delivered exactly what was required, big time. It was a dream start as she calmly set about her task by breaking Williams in the opening game, announcing her intent early on with a forehand cross-court pass, and staying steadfast in those longer rallies she needed until Williams stumbled into error. Backing it up with a love hold, Halep snatched eight of the opening 10 points. With Williams already at full volume, Halep was deaf to all error, iron-clad in defence before threading a stunning forehand at full sprint.
When the Romanian kissed a backhand return down the line, both Serena and the Centre Court were reeling at the double break. On she forged, resolute even though Williams was at last finding a winner or two to get on the scoreboard. When Halep smacked down another backhand pass, even Williams applauded. The American punched a trademark forehand return down the line to save one set point, but she couldn’t do anything with the next. The set was gone.
Halep could hardly have done more to underline the extraordinary re-ignition she has achieved this Wimbledon. For more than a year she has spoken openly of the sense of contentment she achieved when at last she snapped a run of three Grand Slam final defeats to triumph at Roland-Garros last summer. She even did so again after her first round here – but ever since then, round by round she has discovered herself again on the least likely surface.
Asked at Eastbourne just three weeks ago what she thought of when she hears the word “grass”, Halep replied: “Picnics.” But here, in the first Wimbledon final of her career, this extraordinary 27-year-old heroine of Romania served up an astonishing feast of a kind few were expecting.
Having lost the first set, Williams needed to find a fast route through her opponent’s wall of determined ambition. But Halep would not bend, no matter what the seven-time Wimbledon champion threw at her. Having secured two critical holds early in the second chapter, she defied every attack Serena could devise, reaching for her signature skill of getting absolutely everything back until her opponent made a mistake… and at 2-2, with the court at her mercy, Williams made exactly that mistake. Halep was a set and a break to the good.
Searching desperately for an answer, the American instead slid further into disastrous error, even as Halep maintained cast-iron discipline in the same department. Far from finding the way out, Williams saw matters worsen as Halep sent another backhand winner down the line for the double break.
The Romanian stood on the baseline, serving for the Venus Rosewater Dish, her face a vision of calm as the Centre Court crowd bellowed in anticipation. This last game played out exactly as the rest of the match – flawless from Halep, with errors from her opponent. She did what players dream of doing. She served it out to love. History, like the rest of us, was looking towards Serena Williams in this Wimbledon final; and it turned out that history, like the rest of us, was gazing in the wrong direction. The outcome which surely few could see came to pass. Simona Halep defeated Serena Williams in straight sets. The Romanian is the champion of Wimbledon.
Republished by Intell News Romania in English, July 13, 2019
Take a look at an article in Romanian: “Presa internaţională despre succesul româncei Simona Halep la Wimbledon 2019 ”, published by Intell News, July 14, 2019.