Simona Halep beats Serena Williams to win first Wimbledon title
Simona Halep produced a brilliant performance to defeat seven-time champion Serena Williams and win her second Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in front of a stunned Centre Court crowd.
The Romanian, French Open champion in 2018, had only won one of her previous 10 meetings against Williams but inflicted a third consecutive Grand Slam singles final defeat for the American, who remains on 23 Grand Slam singles titles.
Halep celebrates her emphatic victory in the Wimbledon showpiece
Halep hit just three unforced errors, compared to 26 from Williams, and absorbed the greater shot power from her opponent with excellent effect as she sealed a 6-2 6-2 win in 56 minutes.
The 27-year-old came out of the blocks quickest as Williams was broken in the opening game of the match, before a confident Halep seized a double-break lead with a backhand winner down the line.
Serena Williams was unable to change the momentum in her favour
Williams had committed seven unforced errors in the opening three games and was struggling to contend with the all-court athleticism from Halep, who was by far the hardest challenge she had faced in the tournament.
Halep fell to her knees on match point
The 11th seed got herself on the scoreboard with a love service hold and she brought up a breakpoint in the sixth game.
Halep however was up to the test and concluded a battling hold with a forehand winner.
Despite a second love service hold for Williams, she could do nothing to prevent Halep closing out the first set in 26 minutes.
Williams knew she faced an uphill battle and released a huge scream of emotion in the opening game of the second set but, despite a concerted effort to make a breakthrough, Halep remained resolute.
Halep refused to lose her focus and drop her level as she brought up two break points in the fifth game with a forehand winner, and she increased her control on proceedings when Williams went long with a regulation backhand.
Williams appeared shell-shocked and looked in the direction of her box as she sought to find inspiration to mount a comeback.
Halep continued to press home her advantage as she sealed a fourth break of the match with a backhand winner to lead 5-2.
Halep closed out a sensational victory in just 55 minutes with a love service hold to become the first Romanian singles champion.