Tennis

Halep is first Romanian woman in Wimbledon final

Simona Halep became the first Romanian woman to reach the Wimbledon final yesterday when she defeated Ukraine's Elina Svitolina 6-1, 6-3.

The 27-year-old seventh seed, who was French Open champion in 2018, will be playing in her fifth Grand Slam final.

In tomorrow's final, she will meet seven-time champion Serena Williams.

The 37-year-old Williams moved to within one victory of equalling Margaret Court's record of 24 Grand Slam titles yesterday when she reached her 11th Wimbledon final.

The American, seeded 11, eased past an overwhelmed Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-2 in the other semi-final.

AMAZING

"It's an amazing feeling but I am also excited and nervous," said Halep.

"It is one of the best moments of my life.

"The match was not easy, the games were long and went deep.

"I fought hard to win this match and I was strong mentally and physically and had the right tactics."

Halep, who had knocked out new star, the 15-year-old Coco Gauff in the last 16, lost in her previous semi-final appearance at Wimbledon to Eugenie Bouchard in 2014.

However, she said she was a different player now and had taken to grass.

"I have more experience, I don't give up any more," she said. "I plan to be the best version of myself and fight to the end."

Williams has a 9-1 career lead over Halep. - AFP, REUTERS

Tennis