Romanian billionaire Ion Tiriac proves to be lucky charm for Simona Halep

Tanya Simon
July 14, 2019

Simona Halep puts in place a season so far complicated, winning her first Wimbledon title, the second Grand Slam of her career and, above all, breaking Serena Williams' dream.

Halep, 27, beat Williams 6-2, 6-2 in straight sets in London.

With last year's French Open, her first grand slam title, under her belt, Simona Halep decided that 2019 would be "a chill year".

There were signs that Williams was finding her range in the second set, but Halep was undaunted and reeled off the last five games, the contest ending after the American buried a forehand into the net after less than an hour.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 13: Simona Halep of Romania, victor and Serena Williams of The United States, runner-up pose for a photo with their respective trophies after the Ladies' Singles final during Day twelve of The Championships - Wimbledon 2019 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 13, 2019 in London, England. Serena Williams has been chasing her 24th Grand Slam title since winning the 2017 Australian Open. You can get intimidated by the moment.

"I'm very sure that was the best match of my life", said Halep. She defeated Giulia Gatto-Monticone in two sets in the first round but had to play to 7 games in the second set to do it. "My stomach was not well before the match, but I came on court and gave my best". So today it's real. I never thought that I would be able to win on grass, with all these players that are very tall and serving with a lot of power.

"I just have to figure out a way to win a final".

She remained rock solid throughout, making only three unforced errors in a remarkable display of defence mixed with clinical counter-punching. But I knew there was no time for emotions.

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That's the view of John McEnroe who saw Williams struggle as she was beaten 6-2 6-2 by Halep. "I'm a professional." Williams would agree.

"I had nerves", she said in front of 15,000 fans on Centre Court while clutching the trophy.

Add in the fact that she had fired down 45 aces and won 83 percent of her service games to reach the final and it seemed as if it was game on for Williams to hoist the Venus Rosewater Dish for an eighth time. You can get nervous, too nervous. Besides, she converted four break points while consolidating her serve throughout the all-important clash that lasted just 56 minutes.

King spoke to the BBC mid-Wimbledon about wanting to see Williams focus more on her on-court prospects than trying to juggle everything else.

"Someone told me I shouldn't look at the records anymore".

"I didn't think at all against who I play".

The 2019 Ladies' Final is scheduled to begin today (Saturday, July 13) at 9 a.m. ET and will air on ESPN.

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