Thursday, 22 August, 2019


Serena, Halep roll, advance to Wimbledon final

Simona Halep beat Elina Svitolina to reach her first Wimbledon final Simona Halep beat Elina Svitolina to reach her first Wimbledon final
Noah Ferguson | 13 July, 2019, 12:37

Despite her advancing years, Williams is outwardly showing no signs of slowing down in her obsessive pursuit of Margaret Court's 24 slams, a magical mark that has stood for 46 years. Sportsbooks too, believes that Williams is a -184 favourite for this one, with Halep at +156 and clearly the dark horse for victory.

Williams is once again on the verge of an eighth Wimbledon championship and 24th Grand Slam title, moving into the final at the All England Club with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over an overmatched Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Thursday.

Serena Williams is one of the best tennis players to ever set foot on a court, and one of the greatest athletes of all time.

And after an up-and-down first half of the year, due in part to injury and illness, she sure does appear to have lifted her level considerably. But, one in eight men surveyed in the United Kingdom think they can win a point against her.

"I respect a lot what she has done and what she's doing", Halep said. 'She is happy. She has a house here, her husband is here.

Serena Williams has reached a Grand Slam final for the 13th consecutive year.

Since Serena's break, there has been a merry-go-round at the summit of the women's game.

She fired down a huge serve on match point and when Strycova clawed it back she stroked away the simplest of forehands to seal her place in the final.

She will be making her 32nd appearance in the final of a major, tying Martina Navratilova for second - men or women - behind Chris Evert (34). "That's the only reason I'm able to compete", Williams told reporters after her semifinal win against unseeded Barbora Strycova.

Having just watched a forehand victor whistle past her, Strycova double-faulted and fluffed an attempted drop shot to hand over the break of serve. At the Australian Open this year, and only 29, she went out in the first round of qualifying, for the third time on the spin at a slam.

More recently, Johanna Konta reacted angrily when a journalist asked whether she should start blaming herself for her grand slam exits after her quarter-final loss. Having offered up a break point, Strycova crouched at the baseline and rested her racket on her head.

Fifteen-year-old Coco Gauff caught our attention when she upset her idol Venus Williams in the first round of play.

Five of the first 11 points lasted at least 10 strokes; two went 23.

Halep will also take heart from their battle at this year's Australian Open being a close one and the fact that she has more than just an A-game in her repertoire. Visit SportsLine now to see Gavin Mair's strong picks for Halep vs. Williams, all from the acclaimed expert who correctly predicted world No. 1 and pre-Wimbledon favorite Ash Barty would be eliminated early. So was her body language, including when Halep looked up at her coach, yelled and extended an arm in the first set's final game. Now comes a tougher task: beating Williams. "That's what we're going to do". I feel like she's back.

Last year's losing finalist needed just 59 minutes to bypass Strycova, using her incredibly dominant serve to deny her opponent a foundation from which to mount a challenge of her own.

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Wimbledon 2019: Day 12, Match Points Wimbledon 2019: Day 12, Match Points The 27-year-old has won just one of the four Grand Slam finals in which she has appeared - last year's French Open. Serena Williams celebrates winning a game at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London , Britain, July 3, 2015.