Simona Halep’s Two Week Fairy Tale
Simona Halep’s speed and precision overwhelmed Serena Williams to take the Wimbledon championship this year. The bigger story is this a moment that will push Halep into the conversation with Ashleigh Barty, Angelique Kerber, and Naomi Osaka as the top of women’s tennis.
A lot will continue to be made of Williams’s age as the 23-time major champion will turn 38 in late September. Williams has lost her last three finals and has trouble dealing with the younger Halep, Herber, and Osaka who have countered her power with speed and precision on their returns.
Halep’s victory was as shocking as it was stunning, winning in straight sets (6-2, 6-2). Halep dominated the first serve points won with 83% compared to Williams 59%. Another stat that exemplified Halep’s control from start to finish is she only has three unforced errors compared to Williams 26.
|1st Serve %||68%||76%|
|1st Serve Points Won||59%||83%|
|2nd Serve Points Won||47%||45%|
|Break Points Won||0/1||4/5|
Halep previously won the 2018 French Open and is now 2-3 in major finals for the former world number one player. Halep defeated the players in front of her but afforded not facing a seeded player until the semifinals where she defeated Elina Svitolina in straight sets (6-1, 6-3).
The narrative will hold that women’s tennis has finally turned the page from the era of Venus and Serena that has polarized the sport for two decades. Venus’s last major win took place in 2008 and her previous final happening in the 2017 Australian Open. The time in the hourglass may have run out for both, but there is something to say for Serena making three finals after giving birth to her first child, a feat that most would find difficulty achieving.
Gary Woodland Wins First Major Title
Gary Woodland wins his first major title finishing 13 under par with a 2-under 69 in the final round holding off a Sunday charge from Brooks Koepka.
Nadal Wins 12th, and Barty Wins First Grand Slam
The 123rd French Open and the second Glam Slam of the tennis season is complete. Rafael Nadal continued his dominance on clay winning at Roland Garros.
Odds and Predictions for 2019 Belmont Stakes
The 151st running of the Belmont Stakes takes place on Saturday. The race does not have the same buzz since there will be no Triple Crown winner.