Tonight, Simona Halep is responsible for preventing Serena Williams from touching the Grand Slam super record of all time.
Besides Roger Federer, Serena Williams is one of the rare names in tennis arena that can challenge the time limit. The victory over Barbora Strycova in the semifinals helped her younger sister Williams reach the 11th Wimbledon final, thereby becoming the oldest player to attend the last Grand Slam game of the open era (37 years 291 days).
To be fair, Serena displayed a rather erratic style throughout the journey. She can easily defeat seeds like Julia Görges (18), Carla Suárez Navarro (30) after 2 sets, but it takes up to 3 sets to subdue non- ranked opponents (Alison Riske), even have to enter qualifying rounds (Giulia Gatto-Monticone, Kaja Juvan).
Serena’s stature clearly overwhelmed her opponent in the final on July 13 – Simona Halep. Considering the number of Grand Slam titles, she is … 23 times higher than Romanian (23-1). In terms of past achievements, the victory still belongs to Serena (9-1). The recent encounter in the fourth round of Australia Open earlier this year, Halep was ranked No. 1 seed but still suffered the final 1-2 defeat.
Halep’s rare victory did not come on the pitch and also took place five years ago (WTA Finals 2014, winning 6-0, 6-2). On the only occasion they met on the pitch, Serena won 2-1 (Round 2 of Wimbledon 2011).
The rare advantage that a Romanian player owns is a fairly stable performance. She lost only 1 set, excellently beating the 15-year-old “phenomenon” Cori Gauff to her first career in the Grand Slam Grand Finals. However, Halep only met a seed player from the start of the tournament (Elina Svitolina, No. 8 seed).
Currently Serena owns a total of 23 Grand Slam (7 Wimbledon), a record of all time (both male and female) with less a title than legendary Margaret Court. Can tonight, Halep can become a wall separating Williams’s sister from touching this great feat?