By Ros Satar, at Wimbledon

  • Simona Halep [7] v Serena Williams [11]
  • Williams leads H2H 9-1
  • Williams is aiming for an eighth Wimbledon title and a 24th Slam while Halep targets her second major.
WIMBLEDON, UK – History beckons for both Serena Williams and Simona Halep as they face each other in the Wimbledon final.

 

Path to the Final

Round Simona Halep [7] Serena Williams [11]
1 Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-4 7-5 Giulia Gatto-Monticone [Q] 6-2 7-5
2 Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-3 4-6 6-2 Kaja Juvan [Q] 2-6 6-2 6-4
3 Victoria Azarenka 6-3 61 Julia Goerges [18] 6-3 6-4
4 Cori Gauff [Q] 6-3 6-3 Carla Suárez Navarro [30] 6-2 6-2
QF Zhang Shuai 7-6(4) 6-1 Alison Riske 6-4 4-6 6-3
SF Elina Svitolina [8] 6-1 6-3 Barbora Strycova 6-1 6-2

 

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Simona Halep [7] v Serena Williams [11]

It might feel a little like déjà-vu for Serena Williams, who on her return to the tour after the birth of her daughter Olympia, she coasted through the draw to face Angelique Kerber once more in the Wimbledon final. There though, she faced her toughest opponent who was on a mission. Kerber had the perfect game plan, and ‘24’ was on hold once more.

The less we say about the US Open the better, and here we are, with Williams this time having improved round on round, not to mention helping Sir Andy Murray along with his return in the Mixed Doubles.

Over the other side of the net will be Simona Halep, who finally has put that rolled ankle and her suspicion of the green stuff behind her. Halep might be saying she is just ‘chill’ this year, but she means business and is not just happy to be here.

The record is stacked against the gritty Romanian. She has faced Williams three times in Grand Slams and lost all three, but all of them have gone the distance. She finally got over the line on her fourth Slam final appearance, beating Sloane Stephens last year to win her first major.

What we have seen from Halep is a lot more variety and she is not afraid to scamper around the court – coming in for the occasional serve and volley, and now she feels a lot more certain of her movement on this surface in particular, her game seems to have clicked.

Whereas last year, Williams had not much opposition on the way to a final, which left her somewhat under-cooked, she has looked a lot sharper. Her coach explained that since she started playing without the pain of a niggling knee injury this year, she has been able to train and put in the hours, and it has showed.

Halep is an aggressive baseliner normally but her movement and variety this year will move Williams off the baseline where she usually likes to control the game play. Her serve will be key, and Halep will need to shift to get her racquet on those.

Both are in impressive form – of that there is no doubt, but somehow it feels like history has something to say.

Prediction: Williams in three sets.

The Wimbledon 2019 Ladies’ final takes place on Saturday, at 2pm BST.

 

POLL – Who will win the Wimbledon 2019 Ladies’ Singles title?

 

How to Watch/Follow Wimbledon 2019

TV Across BBC Channels & Red Button
Live Stream BBC Sport

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