Published: Sun, July 14, 2019
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Serena Williams loses to Simona Halep in Wimbledon women's final

Serena Williams loses to Simona Halep in Wimbledon women's final

Since resuming after giving birth to her daughter Olympia in 2017, Williams has lost three consecutive major finals - to Angelique Kerber at Wimbledon and Naomi Osaka at the US Open a year ago and now Halep. Williams is moving well and is undoubtedly more confident than she was the last time we saw her compete, at the French Open in May.

She was beaten 6-2, 6-2 in less than an hour by Simona Halep, who had lost on nine of the 10 previous occasions she had played the American. It's all the rules, a very prestigious tournament, makes it a little bit different and more special. History isn't on Halep's side - she has a 1-9 record against Williams - but the fact that she's playing better on grass than ever before in her career should bolster her self-belief.

FILE PHOTO: Romanian former gymnast Nadia Comaneci attends the women's singles semi-final match between Flavia Pennetta of Italy and Simona Halep of Romania at the U.S. Open Championships tennis tournament in New York, September 11, 2015.

Twitterians rushed to share their reactions after the game.

But Halep simply refused to submit to brooding Williams, snaffling an incredible service break in the fifth game with astonishing retrieving. Even after winning long rally points - and she won nearly all of them - she never did anything more than clench a fist and raise it near her face in her trademark fashion.

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Asked to describe how victory felt, Halep revealed that her legs had almost given way. You can get intimidated by the moment.

"I have learned that it's a normal match, not thinking that much about the trophy, just going there and try to be the best as you can". She has lost three consecutive Grand Slam finals. I don't know what she wants. You know, I never thought about time in general.

She revealed that one of her biggest motivations was the promise of a lifetime's membership to the All England Club and she said she could not wait to enjoy the facilities without the pressure of a match the next day, proudly pointing to her member's badge with pride. "July 18 1976 was when I got my ideal 10". Halep had an answer for everything she sent her way. Again, I just think Simona just played her heart out.

Then there was the brouhaha around the Duchess of Sussex watching her match on No 1 court and an exclusion zone set up around her in the members' area, to the chagrin of some. "I just told her that we'll talk later".

"I feel like she's back. That's kind of what I've been doing since I got to 18 (slams)", Williams said after her Wimbledon defeat.

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