LONDON, July 11: Simona Halep became the first Romanian woman to reach the Wimbledon final on Thursday 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.
“It’s an amazing feeling but I am also excited and nervous. It is one of the best moments of my life,” said Halep.
“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 will face either seven-time champion Serena Williams or unseeded Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic for the title on Saturday.
Halep, who had knocked out new star, 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 anymore,” she said.
“I plan to be the best version of myself and fight to the end.”
The easy manner in which former world number one Halep wrapped up the match had not looked on the cards at the outset.
Svitolina, the first Ukrainian woman to reach a Grand Slam semi-final, and Halep traded shots aplenty and break points in the opening two games which took over 20 minutes to complete but Halep emerged on top with a 2-0 lead.
Serena Williams powered through to her 11th Wimbledon final as she overwhelmed unseeded Czech Barbora Strycova in a brutal 6-1, 6-2 victory on Centre Court on Thursday.
Clobbering huge serves and forehands, the veteran American was always in control as she set up a showdown with Romanian former world number one Simona Halep in Saturday’s final.
The 37-year-old Williams will become the oldest woman to contest a Grand Slam final in the professional era and victory will take her alongside Margaret Court’s record 24 singles majors.
Strycova, the oldest first-time Grand Slam semi-finalist at 33, boasts a tricky game that scrambled the mind of Britain’s Johanna Konta in the quarterfinals.
But seven-time Wimbledon champion Williams is made of much sterner stuff and simply bulldozed her way through her opponent’s lightweight resistance.
Strycova held for 1-1 in the first set but any notion that a contest would break out disappeared in the blink of an eye as she went 5-1 behind. (AFP)