Serena Williams still the greatest of all times despite losing to Simona Halep
BY JUDY JONES
Serena Williams, 37, the woman who has revolutionized women’s tennis with her powerful style of play and has won more Grand Slam singles titles (23) than any woman or man during the open tennis era, has remained the greatest tennis player of all times despite losing just two hours ago the Wimbledon 2019 title to Romania’s Simona Halep in a stunning match.
Simona Halep went into this final match as the underdog, despite her brilliant performance during the face-off that qualified her for the final and her overall great shape. Indeed, having finally overcome the stubborn knee injury that has bothered her during the past few seasons, Serena Williams (who is more often referred to by fans and reporters alike with her first name), had all the promises of the GOAT (Greatest Of All Times) that she is.
Just like Simona Halep, Serena won the semi-final in two easy 6-2, 6-1 sets. It appeared the majority of the spectators in the stadium, which included her friend Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, was rooting for Serena, not to say that seemed to be the case also with some of the commentators of the match.
“I had nerves. My stomach was not very well before the match. But I had no time for emotions and just came out and tried my best.”
Simona Halep really proved a formidable adversary. Beside having 27 unforced errors against only three for her opponent, Serena did not do much wrong. She hit the ball with deadly precision for the most part, but Halep hit it back in almost every rally, winning fatal points. After a perfect start by the Romanian, Serena eventually made some inroads, but to no avail as Halep stayed steady, kept running and getting the forehand killers back. Serena’s attempt to stop the bleeding in order to take control of the game failed, and the first set slipped away.
Despite her strong start of the second set, there was no way Serena could out-hustle a fast-moving Halep who demonstrated a great deal of agility by playing her best match ever which she won in 56 minutes. It practically came down to Halep not making dumb mistakes in key moments. Having failed to be in control during the first set, many educated observers said, Serena appeared to have lost her spirit and her belief in winning.
A great loser, Serena in the end smiled graciously and wholeheartedly gave her opponent a nod by saying:
“She really played out of her mind. Whenever a player plays that amazing you just have to take your hat off and give her a nod.”
Halep’s victory destroyed Serena’s quest for a record-equalling 24th major today, which put the American one victory short of Margaret Court’s all-time tally.
Serena, the favorite going into this match, holds seven Wimbledon titles, winning several back to back. Since giving birth twenty-two months ago, she has won no new titles, being bugged with a biting knee injury. Her comeback has appeared so far stuttering, but we have been here before with the greatest of all times.
Despite nearing 38 years of age (in September), Serena Williams still has a chance to win 24 majors and equal Court’s records. Her stunning loss to Halep, some analysts say, can only make her possible winning a 24th major title sweeter.