The reigning Rogers Cup presented by National Bank champion Simona Halep was nearly flawless on Saturday in London.
The World No. 7 earned her second career Grand Slam title with a dominant performance over Serena Williams in straight sets 6-2, 6-2. Playing in her first-ever final at the All England Club and against an opponent who had defeated her in nine of 10 previous meetings, the Romanian never shied away from the moment.
Just eight minutes into the match, Halep went up a double break after connecting on a beautiful two-hand backhand return winner to jump in front 3-0. From there, she continued her dominant play. The 27 year old lost just eight service points and saved the only break point she faced – taking the first set in just 26 minutes.
The two-time Rogers Cup Champion then kept up the pressure in the second set. At 2-2, Halep scored a break when Serena sailed a backhand long. It was one of her 26 unforced errors in the match, something that we’ve been unaccustomed to seeing from the three-time Rogers Cup champion. Halep would then score another break before closing out the match in just 56 minutes.
Already the first Romanian woman to ever reach the final at Wimbledon, Halep becomes the first singles’ champion in her country’s history at the All England Club. En route to the title, the World No. 7 dropped just one set through seven matches at these Championships.
Meanwhile, for Serena, she’ll have to wait a little longer if she’s to make some history of her own. Holding 23 career Grand Slam titles, Serena remains just one shy of matching Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24.
Photo: Mauricio Paiz