The day 12 preview serves up Wimbledon tips for a mouthwatering ladies final between Serena Williams and Simona Halep.
22:00 (AEST), Sat 13th Jul @ All England Club, Wimbledon
History: Played 10: Williams 9 V Halep 1
Final Thoughts: Australian Open, 2019 (R16): Williams d Halep 6-1 4-6 6-4
Recent women’s grand slam finals have featured a number of bolters and fairytale stories. But the 2019 Wimbledon ladies decider pits two of the decade’s dominant forces against one another.
Serena Williams starts as a warm favourite as she guns for a record-equalling 24th grand slam title. Fellow former world No.1 Simona Halep is into a grand slam final for the fifth time.
Eleventh seed Williams was pushed hard in the quarter-finals by Alison Riske, dropping only her second set of the tournament in a 6-4 4-6 6-3 win. But she ruthlessly despatched Barbora Strycova in the semis.
Seventh seed Halep has racked up four consecutive straight-sets wins. She routed eighth seed Elina Svitolina 6-1 6-3 in the other semi.
Halep is playing in her first slam final since her breakthrough triumph at the 2018 French Open final. It’s the Romanian’s first Wimbledon final.
Williams is 23-8 in grand slam finals, including 7-3 in Wimbledon deciders. But her last win at a major was at the 2017 Australian Open, losing at Wimbledon and the US Open last year.
Williams dominates rivalry
Williams boasts a commanding 9-1 advantage in her all-time head-to-head with Halep. A victory in the 2014 WTA Championships round-robin (after which Williams reversed the result in the final) was Halep’s only win over Williams.
Williams has won all five matches since, including the 2016 US Open quarters and an Australian Open fourth-round clash earlier this year. The only previous Wimbledon meeting was in the second round of the 2011 tournament, with Halep going down in three sets.
But Halep – who knows what it takes to win big matches – looks to be in peak form at present. She shapes as excellent value. It seems inevitable this final will go three sets, but the younger competitor’s doggedness and class will be difficult for Williams to overcome.