Simona Halep is the 2019 Wimbledon champion! In Saturday’s singles final, Halep beat Serena Williams, 6-2 6-2, in less than an hour. This post reviews the final including a detailed analysis of the match and media highlights including links to the final press conferences and winner’s interview. This is my final post from the 2019 grass court season and that’s a wrap from Wimbledon! It’s been a fun ride… 🎢🙂
Final review 🎾
Simona Halep d. Serena Williams, 6-2 6-2
Simona Halep won her second Slam title, playing a near-perfect match to beat Serena Williams in just 56 minutes. I don’t think I have seen Simona play a better match than this and she continued her record of winning at least a set in all five of her Slam finals.
There were so many impressive aspects to Halep’s performance. Key was the serve as she landed 76% of first serves in and won 83% of points behind it. Serena started to zone on return midway through the first set with a handful of return winners. I didn’t feel a sense of Halep tightening on serve at all, in fact she responded positively by increasing her first serve percentage as the match wore on. Halep faced just the one break point and held serve in all eight of her service games.
Halep’s court coverage was absolutely sensational. She chased so many balls down and was able to absorb and redirect Serena’s pace with effective angles. Halep hit just three (THREE!) unforced errors throughout the match and at no point, did she drop her level. I thought it was a clutch display from Halep. It’s so rare to watch a match where one player completely dominates from start to finish. Halep was mentally solid and showed no signs of wavering towards the end.
I thought Serena was visibly nervous coming out on court. Her footwork was off which is a classic sign of nerves. Serena began to settle towards the end of the first set but Halep matched her when she improved her level. The match went away fast at the end as Serena hit a flurry of backhand errors into the net. At times, it was an uncomfortable watch as Serena just couldn’t get her feet moving, or finish off Halep in the rallies. Serena seemed hesitant and indecisive coming forward as Halep pulled off some remarkable passing shot winners. Serena won just 4 of 11 points at the net. Like last year’s final, Serena was not able to dominate on serve as Halep returned exceptionally well.
Final analysis 🎾
Serena has now lost her last three Slam finals in straight sets. In the semi-finals prior to all three finals, she played stunning tennis and dropped just 12 games combined. While she’s not been able to channel her best form in the finals, I think it’s important to note that her three opponents all played sensational matches. It will get overlooked but Serena reaching a Slam final with so few matches this year is pretty remarkable. Serena said in her press conference that perhaps playing more finals would help her in these situations going forward. I think the nerves and internal pressure that Serena puts on herself to get to Slam #24 is a factor.
It definitely felt like Halep winning her first Slam at Roland Garros was a huge weight off her shoulders and while she’s not had a banner year (up till now at least!), she has generally seemed calmer and talked about “chilling” more off court in her press conferences. This is Halep’s first title of the year! I’m thrilled for Simona and her joy post-match was infectious and wonderful to watch.
For the second straight Slam, I had the eventual champ losing in the semi-finals! I think it’s a hoot that Ash Barty and Simona Halep have won the last two Majors on what have largely been touted as their weakest surfaces. Halep’s record though at Wimbledon has generally gone under-the-radar as she has reached at least the quarter-finals in three of her last four appearances. We now know that Simona will open up Centre Court proceedings on the first Tuesday of the 2020 Wimbledon Championships 🙂.
Hot shot of the day 🔥
Incredible passing shot winner from Halep that got the racquet clap from Serena.
Handshakes and hugs 🤗
Serena was very gracious at the net and gave all the credit to Halep in her post-match interview and press conference.
Super snap 📸
Press highlights 📰
Press conferences from Simona and Serena are linked below. Simona said it was the best match of her life.
Recommended reading 📚
Another wonderful piece from Matt Zemek on Tennis with an Accent.
Recommended media 📺
Simona Halep’s interview on court was wonderful! Loved the story about her Mum.
Ticking off my list ✅
At the start of the grass court season, I posted about ten players i’d never seen live who I wanted to get some photos of. I ended up with a 50% success rate! Gutted to miss Kenin and Muchova – I was heading to watch both of them at Wimbledon but they finished before I could get to the court!
Amanda Anisimova ✅
Dayana Yastremska ✅
Veronika Kudermetova ✅
Iga Swiatek ✅
Anastasia Potapova ✅
Final thoughts 🤔
It’s been a fab month of tennis and I have really enjoyed blogging through this grass court season. Hope you’ve enjoyed all the posts! I’ll leave you with my Wimbledon post for anyone considering visiting next year. I’m now taking a break from the blog and will likely be back at the start of August for the US hard court season.