Serena Williams will face Simona Halep in Saturday’s Wimbledon final after easing past Barbara Strycova in their semi-final clash. The 37-year-old American, who is looking to join Margaret Court on a record 24 Grand Slam wins by clinching her eighth title at the All England Club, was given few problems against the Czech on Centre Court.
Strycova, who was celebrating being the oldest Grand Slam semi-final debutant at the age of 33, had no answer to Williams’ power as she succumbed to a 6-1 6-2 defeat in just 59 minutes. Williams has not won a Grand Slam title since the 2017 Australian Open, which then followed 12 months away from tennis due to pregnancy and the subsequent birth of her daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.
However, she is relishing the prospect of an 11th final appearance at SW19 this weekend. Williams said: “It’s good, especially after my year. It definitely feels good to be back in the final.” On her form in the tournament, she added: “It’s definitely a lot better, I just needed some matches. I know I’m improving and I just needed to feel good and then I can do what I do best which is play tennis.”
On facing Halep in the final, Williams said: “We always have tough matches. This was a tough match for me and I look forward to it.” Seventh seed Halep booked her first-ever Wimbledon final with a comfortable straight-sets win against 24-year-old Ukrainian Elina Svitolina in just one hour 13 minutes.
The opening two games of the contest lasted 20 minutes, but Halep managed to break Svitolina three times to take the set and then won four games in a row from 3-2 down in the second to clinch a 6-1 6-3 victory The 27-year-old Romanian said: “It is one of the best moments of my life,” said Halep, whose previous best finish at Wimbledon was reaching the 2014 semi-finals.
Halep added: “I’m really excited but also nervous. I’m just trying to enjoy it as much as possible.”It was not as easy as the score shows. I fought really hard, [Svitolina] is an amazing player and it’s always tough to play against her.”