Published: Sun, July 14, 2019

Romanian billionaire Ion Tiriac proves to be lucky charm for Simona Halep

Romanian billionaire Ion Tiriac proves to be lucky charm for Simona Halep

Romania's Simona Halep, 27, has defeated American tennis star Serena Williams, 37, in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2, to win her first Wimbledon title. She hasn't won a tournament of any kind since giving birth to her daughter in September 2017 and returning to the tour five months later. "She is making history as she is the only Romanian woman who has two grand slam titles".

Committing just three unforced errors in the entire match, Halep's focus never waned for a second during her crushing 6-2 6-2 win over a shellshocked Serena Williams on Saturday.

She has won seven of the 10 finals she's played in south west London and an eighth crown would see her draw level with Margaret Court as the most successful player in the history of women's singles.

While Comaneci had total faith that her friend would triumph on Saturday, others were not so sure considering Halep had won only one of her previous 10 meetings against Williams - and that nearly five years ago.

During her post-match press conference, Williams quickly rebuked the idea, saying, "The day I stop fighting for equality and for people that look like you and me will be the day I'm in my grave".

The Romanian has beaten Williams just once in their previous 10 meetings but insisted her record against the 23-time Grand Slam victor was not cause for concern.

The 75-year-old told the BBC earlier in the tournament that Williams should give up being a celebrity for a year: "Just stop all this insanity".

"The biggest key with our matches is the loss that I had".

After breaking Williams for a 1-0 lead, Halep built a 40-love lead and secured the game with a down-the-line blast that declared her intentions.

"Today I decided before the match that I'm going to focus on myself and on the final of [a] Grand Slam, not on [Williams]", she added later.

"It was an honour to play in front of her".

Yet when Halep finally wended her way through Wimbledon's burrows and corridors to catch up with her mother she found her too dumbstruck to speak.

Then there was the brouhaha around the Duchess of Sussex watching her match on No 1 court and an exclusion zone set up around her in the members' area, to the chagrin of some. "It's never easy to face a Grand Slam final". I think her ability to improve every time, just to keep improving. You can get intimidated by the moment. "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".

"In everything she does, Serena shines a light on what all of us must fight for in order to achieve equality for all".

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