It has been an enthralling two weeks of action, but we have finally reached the most important weekend of Wimbledon. There have been shocks aplenty, but without doubt, the two best players will compete for the prestigious honour of calling themselves the winner of Wimbledon 2019.
Both players are deserving to be in this final, but for one of them; second will be the best that they can do. Simona Halep has reached Grand Slam finals before, but she has never experienced a Wimbledon final. Meanwhile, Serena Williams is no stranger to the scenery; after all, she has won seven titles at this grand arena. However, even the great Serena will be feeling the pressure on Saturday afternoon as she searches for a first Grand Slam following the birth of her baby, and a history-making 24th Grand Slam title. A victory at Wimbledon would see her tie the record for the most all-time singles titles in the female game with Margaret Court.
Williams has grown into the competition wonderfully well and put all doubts about her lack of match practice to shame. Her sternest test to date came against Alison Riske. After winning the first set; she rested on her laurels and was punished by Riske. However, she soon reclaimed her composure to win the deciding third set comfortably. Everything that fans love about Williams was on display in her semi-final clash with Barbora Strycova. She was powerful, agile and ruthless when given the chance. She overpowered her tired Czech opponent and dominated the game from the first game. Williams’ striking ability was the best it has been throughout the competition, and her serving was impossible for any mere mortal to return. The doubts that surrounded her fitness heading into Wimbledon have slowly vanished, and the chance of history is within her grasp.
However, standing in her way is the consistent Simona Halep. The Romanian has been faultless since dropping her only set in the second round and has played the villain in almost every match she has played in. Halep was the player to put 15-year-old Coco Gauff out of the competition before beating Shuai Zhang the following day. There is no other athlete like Halep on the WTA circuit, and her faultless returns and array of shots make her a danger for any player. The semi-final clash with Elina Svitolina was a brilliant watch of center court as the first point being contested over a 21 shot rally set the tone for the match. Svitolina was dead on her feet at the beginning of the second set, while Halep hadn’t broken a sweat. Her fitness levels surpass anybody in tennis, and that is her greatest asset. Halep’s consistency of shots enables her to have a chance against Williams, and Serena will need to earn her history if she is to do it at the expense of Halep.
Head to Head
The history books aren’t particularly kind to Halep; as she has only beaten Williams on one occasion in 2014; hence why she is the 1.50 outsider with BetXChange. This remains the most dominated that Williams has been on a tennis court as she lost in straight sets; 6-0, 6-2. However, this is the only joy that the Romanian has had. The most recent meeting was in the round of 16 at the Australian Open earlier this year, and Williams won over three sets.
This has all the makings of a classic Wimbledon final. The contrasting in styles between the players, Williams’ will to win and Halep’s never-say-die attitude means that this will undoubtedly go to a deciding set. This is where Williams’ match sharpness will be tested. However, her championship instincts will come to the fore and history will be made in the most dramatic of finals.