For at least another few weeks, Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam titles will remain untouched, as women’s tennis star Serena Williams was denied Saturday in her effort to tie Court’s mark.
Williams lost in straight sets in the Wimbledon final to No. 7 seed Simona Halep.
It’s Halep’s second Grand Slam singles championship, after she won the 2018 French Open.
Halep dominated from start to finish, winning 6-2, 6-2 in a match that lasted less than one hour.
Immediately after winning the match, Halep fell to the ground and was seemingly in disbelief at her accomplishment.
What a moment!
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 13, 2019
For two decades, Williams has dominated opponents. But this time, she was on the receiving end of a performance for the ages.
She admitted as much afterward.
“She literally played out of her mind. Congratulations, Simona. It was a little bit ‘a deer in the headlights’ for me,” Williams said, per ESPN. “So, I mean, whenever a player plays that amazing, you just kind of have to take your hat off and give them a nod of the head.”
This was the eighth Wimbledon appearance for the 27-year-old Romanian, and it was by far her best showing. She advanced to just the third round in last year’s tournament and had only been to one semifinal since 2011.
Wimbledon is viewed as the most prestigious of all the of major tennis championships, and Halep acknowledged that winning was something she and her mom dreamed about when she was young.
— ESPN (@espn) July 13, 2019
“I will never forget this day because it was my mom’s dream when I was about 10, 12, she said that if I want to do something in tennis I have to play the final of Wimbledon,” Halep said. “So, the day came. So my mom, thanks. Thanks to my parents actually.”
Halep’s performance was even more amazing when you consider that in previous matches against Williams, it was the latter woman who dominated.
Halep had a 1-9 record against Williams entering the Wimbledon final.
This marks Williams’ third straight loss in a Grand Slam final since she won the 2017 Australian Open while pregnant. Williams also lost the Wimbledon Final last year to Angelique Kerber and the 2018 U.S. Open to Naomi Osaka.
Simona Halep now has 2 Grand Slam singles titles.
In regards to Serena Williams: From 2012-15, Williams went 30-2 in tour-level finals. Since the start of 2016, Williams is just 3-6 in finals, losing her last 3 (last year at Wimbledon and US Open). pic.twitter.com/Oal9NwrwwA
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 13, 2019
Williams will have another chance at equaling Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam singles championships at the 2019 U.S. Open, which starts next month. She has already won six U.S. Opens in her career, with her most recent victory coming in 2014.
Halep can go for back-to-back Grand Slams at the event and also claim her first U.S. Open championship.
She’s been knocked out of the first round in each of the last two U.S. Opens. Her best finish in the tournament came in 2015, when she made it to the semifinals.
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