Never since Nadia Comaneci did a perfect ten on the Balancing Beam at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games has any Romanian sports personality earned the same adulation from the spectators as did Simona Halep at the Centre Court of the All England Club, in south-west London, this year. It definitely wasn’t the 27-year-old’s first Grand Slam title as she had the French Open title of 2018 under her belt but it was the manner in which she tamed the ferocious Serena Williams that amazed all and sundry.
In defeating Serena, Simona not only deprived her ten-year senior from emulating the legendary Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam titles but with just three unforced errors against her name during the 56-minute contest, Simona went on to record the least number of unforced errors by any individual in any Grand Slam finals; succinctly, she played a near perfect tennis to which Serena had no answer.
For years together, Serena’s serves have been arguably her most potent weapon but Simona seemed to have mastered the art of nullifying the edge that the serve provides to any player during a game of tennis. The final score of 6-2, 6-2 in favour of Simona sums up the domination that she enjoyed over the entire contest against Serena. It was also not the first time that Simona had made such a short work of Serena. Once in an earlier tournament she had humbled Serena with a score of 6-0, 6-2 but at Wimbledon, it was a more elevated platform.
Simona Halep may not be a big name in Grand Slams but with 19 Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) titles and 6 International Tennis Federation (ITF) titles, she is at the tenth place on the all-time list of women tennis players who have held the number one ranking for the longest period; it being 64 weeks in the case of Simona. In fact, in 2017, she had held on to the top position for a continuous period of 48 weeks.