Simona Halep made her mum’s dream come true as she overcame mother-of-one Serena Williams to lift the Wimbledon title.
The seventh seed from Romania took just 56 minutes to dismantle an opponent reckoned to be the greatest women’s player of all time 6-2 6-2
It is unbelievable. I did have nerves – my stomach was not well. Now I am happy Simona Halep
Halep, whose mother Tania was in the guest box, said: “It was my mum’s dream 12 years ago that I played in the final of Wimbledon . Well the day has come true.
“It is unbelievable. I did have nerves – my stomach was not well. Now I am happy.
“It was an honour to play in front of the Royal Box and was happy to see the Duchess of Cambridge.”
Halep, the 2018 French Open champion, pulled an opponent looking to equal Margaret Court’s record of 24 major all over the court.
Her pace and killer returns never allowed Williams to settle, it was a near-perfect performance, producing just a single error.
Williams said: “Simona played out of her mind. All you can do is tip your hat. Congratulations.”
The 37-year-old American was outplayed.
John McEnroe said: “Speed kills.”
Williams, looking tense, found herself two breaks down as Halep made a dream start.
It was predicted to be a classic encounter between a server and returner. Williams’ serve is rated the most accurate in tennis, while Halep is a tenacious returner.
Halep went in as the underdog, experts such as Tracy Austin, Chanda Rubin and John McEnroe, all tipped the American.
But it was clear her opponent was struggling to shake off nerves and find her game. Maybe it was the lack of matches this year because of knee trouble coming home to roost.
William has been – so often – the dictator in matches over years in which she has attained the crown of GOAT.
But the script was in danger of being ripped up and Halep cruised in front after just 26 minutes.
It meant Williams had to come from behind for the first time to win the title since overcoming sister Venus in the 2003 final.
She put pressure on Halep in the Romanian’s opening service at 15-30 after holding her own serve.
But her opponent survived. Williams looked as though she had found a consistent rhythm on her serve to go 2-1 up in front of pal the Duchess of Sussex, sitting next to the Duchess of Cambridge, who Halep revealed she liked.
Williams seemed to be finding a bit more of the form that had won her seven Wimbledon crowns.
But in the fifth game of the second Williams was broken. She looked flat, making unforced errors especially when she hit a ‘gimme’ long on the forehand on break point.
It went from bad to worse when she lost her serve again, looking flat-footed and producing her 24th unforced error.
And then Halep secured the title to love. And as Williams drove a forehand into the net, the former world No.1 sunk to her knees, crossed her arms across the top of her head holding her racket with a beaming smile that, according to commentator Tracy Austin, would remain on her face for two years.