First-time Wimbledon finalist Simona Halep and seven-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams will meet in the championships match of the tournament’s 2019 edition after both cruised past their semifinal opponents on Thursday.
The first two games of Simona Halep’s match against first-time Grand Slam semifinalist Elina Svitolina promised a marathon, but eventually we had a fairly straight-forward victory of the former world No.1. After fighting for twenty minutes to go 2-0 up, Halep dropped serve, but then won all the remaining games, finalizing the set in 43 minutes on her sixth set point, after six deuces. In the second set, the seventh-seeded Halep held her first three service games to love before going a break up at 4-3 and never looking back, sealing a 6-1 6-3 victory with another break.
Even though it seemed that Halep wasn’t really troubled by Svitolina, if we disregard those several long games, the Romanian assured us otherwise:
It was not as easy as the score shows. I fought really hard, [Svitolina] is an amazing player and it’s always tough to play against her.
In the second women’s semifinal on Thursday, seed No.11 Serena Williams was too strong for unseeded Barbora Strycova, needing less than an hour to dispatch the Czech 6-1 6-2. They both made 10 unforced errors, but Williams counterbalanced them by 28 winners, compared to Strycova’s modest 8. The American legend was superior in every department, including her 80% break point conversion rate, compared to her opponent’s 0%, and the number of points won at the net, 81% as opposed to Strycova’s 36%.
Halep and Williams have faced each other 10 times so far, with Williams leading their head-to-head 9-1. The only time the Romanian celebrated against the American was in the semifinals of Indian Wells four years ago. Despite the lopsided record, Halep is now readier than ever to face the legend:
Now I feel stronger mentally facing her. We will see what is going to happen. It’s just a big challenge for me.