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Serena Williams dismantled at Wimbledon

TENNIS QUEEN Serena Williams was dethroned and played second fiddle to indomitable Romanian ace Simona Halep, who called the shots to win the Wimbledon crown on Saturday (Jul 13).

In a one-sided affair, the 27-year-old denied Williams from capturing her first maiden Grand Slam Singles title since becoming a mother.

It was Halep's array of lethal weapons that saw her race away to her second Grand Slam title and deny Williams an eighth Wimbledon crown.

It proved to be a fascinating yet aggressive Centre Court contest with the resilient Romanian halting Williams' phenomenal run at SW19 6-2 6-2 in under an hour.

For Williams, who last claimed a Grand Slam title by clinching the 2017 Australia Open when she was pregnant, it wasn't to be third time lucky in a major final where she was aiming to equal Margaret Court’s long-standing record of 24 titles.

Popular Halep’s simply overpowered Williams, the tournament ace leader, and peppered her with an amazing series of shots that wowed the crowd.

Williams had suffered a shock defeat to Japanese hard-hitting Naomi Osama in the 2017 US Open, months after last year's straight set Wimbledon defeat to German ace Angelique Kerber and looked completely lost on Centre Court against Halep.

Despite being hindered by a knee injury at the start of this season, Williams had sharpened her grass court skills and movement the further she progressed at the All England Club - until the final.

Halep, the 2017 French Open winner, had beaten the American veteran Williams just once in their previous 10 contests - a round-robin stage of the 2014 year-end championships in Singapore. And the pair were involved in a real ding-dong Australia Open 4th round three set thriller earlier this year, when Halep was the world ranked no.1. But the Wimbledon win proved sweet revenge.

Since the Australian Open, the encounter with Halep was the first time that Williams had faced a top 10 player in a Grand Slam.

Halep had a much tougher run than Williams to reach the final. She followed up her hard-fought 3rd round success over Belarus' former world no.1 Victoria Azarenka by delivering the knock-out blow to American teenage sensation Cori 'Coco' Gauff. A comfortable semi-final triumph over Ukrainian Elina Svitolina, Halep's sole top 10 opponent at SW19, instilled confidence ahead of her showdown with Williams.

Williams started the match on the world's most famous court with an ace but was broken to 30 in the opening game.

The 27-year-old then sped away to love on her serve, moving tentative Williams around the court to create wide open gaps.

Halep's dream start continued, unfazed she broke unsettled Williams with sharp shots of precision, to build a three-game cushion within eight minutes.

Three minutes later the Romanian thundered down an ace to edge 4-0 and silent the Centre Court with her domination.

Williams finally broke her duck with a game to love, and during the turnaround referred to her notes on her opponent.

The following game was closer, but Halep continued to give Williams the runaround and overpower her with incredible cross court winners.

Williams, serving to stay in the opening set after just 25 minutes, held her serve to love to prolong the inevitable.

Halep, whose fizzing forehands and thunderous cross court drives came from all angles, needed her second set point to wrap up a one-sided affair to take a deserved lead.

Williams, who needed to alter her game plan by approaching the net to get back into the final, continued to battle from the baseline and was bewildered by Halep's power play.

She snatched the opening game of the second set in an arduous affair, but was unable to handle the barrage of cleverly crafted angled shots on Halep's serve.

Slowing down her game following so many unforced errors, Williams wrapped up her serve but failed to win a point on Halep's service game.

The dogged determination and endless running from Halep left Williams visibility disheartened, breaking the American twice and waltzing to three Championship points.

But Halep breezed away with her first chance as Williams netted her to give Romania their first Wimbledon champion.

Now 37-year-old Williams will concentrate on continuing to achieve her record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title, and still remains short of the legendary Martina Navratilova's record of nine Wimbledon Singles titles.

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