Simona Halep (L) and Serena Williams (R) pose for a photo following their match at Wimbledon on July 13, 2019 in London.
Serena Williams will have to wait a little longer for her historic Grand Slam victory No. 24.
Playing in the final of Wimbledon for the second year in a row, Williams came up against a nearly perfect Simona Halep, who had an answer for everything the four-time Olympic champion threw at her.
In her first appearance in a Wimbledon final, the No. 7 seed from Romania denied Williams tying Margaret Court’s all-time Grand Slam wins record, 6-2, 6-2, in a match that lasted just 56 minutes. It was Halep’s second Grand Slam win to go along with the 2018 French Open title.
“She really played out of her mind so congratulations, Simona,” Williams said in a television interview. “It was a little deer in the headlights for me.”
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Halep was on the attack from the beginning. She broke serve to start the match, hit a backhand down the line to break again and take a 3-0 lead, then held to put Williams in an even bigger hole. In the first four games Halep racked up five winners and had no unforced errors. Williams finally got on board to make it 4-1, but just over 30 minutes into the match Halep served for the set.
Williams, who has struggled with knee problems this year but reportedly is now pain free, opened the second set with a win then held a 2-1 lead. By the seventh game she was trailing, 4-2, and serving to stay in the match. Halep got to break point, and although Williams fought back and got the advantage, the errors continued to plague her as they had all day. Halep got her second break point and, with a shot down the line, won the game to serve for the match just 53 minutes after they started. Williams finished with 25 unforced errors.
Williams’ last title was the Australian Open in 2017. She subsequently announced her pregnancy and took a break from the game, returning in time for the French Open in 2018. She reached the finals at Wimbledon in 2018 and the U.S. Open in 2018 but finished as runner-up in both tournaments.
Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.