LONDON (REUTERS, AFP) - Simona Halep barely put a foot wrong as she became the first Romanian woman to reach a Wimbledon singles final with a composed 6-1, 6-3 win over Ukrainian eighth seed Elina Svitolina on Thursday (July 11).
The 27-year-old, who has won only one of her previous four Grand Slam finals, had reached the last four without facing a seed and had been expected to be severely tested in the semi-final, considering she had lost four of her seven meetings against Svitolina.
When the players gave each other the run around during the opening two games, which dragged on for 20 minutes as both refused to give an inch, it seemed like a classic was in the offing.
But Svitolina failed to hold her serve even once during the opening set and it was all over in just 73 minutes when the Ukrainian smacked a backhand into the net.
"It's an amazing feeling but I am also excited and nervous. It is one of the best moments of my life," said Halep. "The match was not easy, the games were long and went deep.
I fought hard to win this match and I was strong mentally and physically and had the right tactics."
Halep, whose only Grand Slam title is the 2018 French Open, awaits seven-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams, who overwhelmed the unseeded Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-2 in the later semi-final.
Halep, who had knocked out new star, 15-year-old Coco Gauff, in the last 16, lost in her previous semi-final appearance at Wimbledon to Eugenie Bouchard in 2014.
However, she said she was a different player now and had taken to grass.
"I have more experience, I don't give up any more," she said. "I plan to be the best version of myself and fight to the end."