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Simona Halep Cruises Into Wimbledon Finals • To Play Title Match Against Serena Williams

Calm and collected, Halep cruises into Wimbledon title match against Serena


By Ricky Dimon


When Simona Halep lost in the French Open quarterfinals to Amanda Anisimova a little more than a month ago, the Romanian was asked how she would get back in gear in time for the grass-court season.


“It’s already, I don’t know, maybe seventh year when I do these things coming from clay to grass court,” Halep commented. “I got used to it. For everybody, (it) is the same. I will not do something special. I will just keep my routine, and I will try to get ready as much as possible for Wimbledon. Hopefully I can make a good result.


“But no, (there is) no pressure. This year is a ‘chill’ year for me.”


Halep may be “chilling,” but she is not letting up on the tennis court. Having never previously been to the Wimbledon final and only once appeared in the semifinals, the seventh seed punched her ticket to the title match by beating Elina Svitolina 6-1, 6-3 on Friday. Halep cracked 10 more winners than unforced errors (26 to 16) and broke Svitolina five times in eight return games.


The 27-year-old has been making easy work of opponents for the most part, dropping just one set to countrywoman Mihaela Buzarnescu in round two.


It should not come as a real surprise, as Halep has been quick to point out that she is still the same Halep–the one who had already reached four major finals during her career (including a title at Roland Garros in 2018).


“When I said this is ‘a chill year,’ I didn’t mean that,” she said following her defeat of Buzarnescu. “My English is not that great when I want to translate something from Romanian. I’m still working hard. I’m motivated. I want to win every match I play. But I want to be chill as a person more than last year. I don’t want to stress myself that much about the result. Also the nerves should be less because I (have done) everything I wanted. So now everything, it comes as a bonus.


“My work ethic is like very focused on what I have to do. Every day I respect the schedule. I don’t take days off anymore. I’m just trying to get better as much as possible. So I am positive and I am ready to fight for every match I play.”

Simona Halep of Romania in action against Elina Svitolina of Ukraine during their semi final match for the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, in London, Britain, 11 July 2019. EPA-EFE/ANDY RAIN EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO COMMERCIAL SALES

Halep was asked about her “chill” statement again following her victory over Svitolina.


“I explained this few days ago,” she noted. “‘Chilling,’ it doesn’t mean that I’m not working hard or I’m not focused on what I have to do. It’s just that as a person I want to chill. We see that I’m better on court.”


The world No. 7 may have to be even better on championship Saturday, as Serena Williams will be on the other side of the net. Their head-to-head series stands at 9-1 in favor of Serena.


Especially given that she is the underdog, Halep won’t be stressing about the result. But you can be sure that she is still as motivated as ever.


Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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