Published: Mon, July 15, 2019
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Simona Halep's Wimbledon victory fuelled by disappointing French Open defeat

Simona Halep's Wimbledon victory fuelled by disappointing French Open defeat

"The colors", gasped Halep, speaking a short time after winning her second major title on Saturday by denying Serena Williams her 24th.

"She literally played out of her mind".

It was a huge weight off Halep's shoulders, who was then ranked the world number one, and even though she learned to relax more in big career moments, the hunger for more grand slam glory remained.

The seven-time Wimbledon victor has won 23 grand slam titles.

Still, it was the seventh-seeded Halep who grabbed ahold of this match and never let go, finishing with three unforced errors to Williams' 26.

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For Halep, it was a second Grand Slam title after a rebound at last year's French Open that had followed three losses in title matches at the Slams.

"She saw that she played unbelievably, and that's just the kind of person that she is", Williams explained. She didn't say to win it. "Congratulations, Simona. It was a little bit deer in headlights for me".

She was equally thrilled to have delivered on something her mum told her when she was growing up - that if she wanted to do "something really special in tennis" she would need to play in a Wimbledon final.

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The match started ominously for the 37-year-old Williams, a seven-time Wimbledon champion who was seeking to win her first tournament win since giving birth to a daughter, Alexis Olympia, in September 2017.

Since returning to tennis, Williams has dealt with injuries but still managed to remain among the game's elite.

However, it's not the first time that they have attended to Wimbledon together.

"At the beginning, I was talking to people in the locker room that if I win the tournament it will be awesome because I get membership", she said.

Per Sports Illustrated, Williams has the the edge and then some-commanding a 9-1 advantage over Halep, including when the two faced off at Wimbledon 2011.

She said: "That's unbelievable - I didn't know that, it is more special now". I think it's just coming out there and doing the best that you can.

"Her dad and brother (in Halep's box) can hardly believe this start". She didn't merely play defense, though, managing to go from retrieving an apparent point-ending stroke by Williams to lashing a victor of her own in a blink.

"She's got business, a baby, she's trying to help gender equity, particularly for women of color, she's actually on the Billie Jean King leadership initiative, she and Venus are both advisors for it".

Her returns were exceptional, repeatedly getting back serves that left Williams' racket at 115 miles per hour or more.

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