On Saturday, Serena Williams will face Simona Halep in the Wimbledon ladies’ final.
And for the third time, we will hold our breath to see if the great Serena can reach her own personal nirvana and win one more Grand Slam title. She missed her chance here last year (she lost to Angelique Kerber) and at the US Open (she lost to Naomi Osaka). Can she do it this time? We will see.
But at least she got the first part of the job done quickly and efficiently: she reached the final by taking only 59 minutes to beat Barbora Strycova 6-1, 6-2. She was too strong, too experienced and just too good for the likeable Czech with the unique style.
Simona Halep is a reignited force, brilliantly redefining herself on the Wimbledon grass where she once felt so insecure. Having broken her Grand Slam hoodoo at Roland-Garros last year, she then found herself unable to recapture the hunger of old, set further adrift perhaps by the decision of her coaching mentor, Darren Cahill, to take a year's break in 2019.
Yet in the last four here, Halep superbly adapted her clay skills to dismiss Elina Svitolina 6-1, 6-3 and become the first Romanian woman to reach a singles final in SW19. In the final she will meet Serena Williams. The pair have met ten times with Halep winning once, in 2015, in Singapore.
“It’s an amazing feeling – one of the best moments of my life,” Halep told the BBC as she left the Centre Court. “It was not easy but I fought very hard to win this match. She’s always tough, but I played the right tactics and was very strong mentally and physically.
"I have more experience than five years ago [when she lost to Eugenie Bouchard at the same stage] and have learned many things. I’m not giving up any more. I really want to win every match. It doesn’t matter who I play in the final. I’ll be on the Centre Court at Wimbledon and I cannot ask for more.”
Picture by Alex Broadway/SWpix.com