Nerves and knee problem not a factor in Halep hammering, insists Serena

By Sports Desk July 13, 2019

Serena Williams insisted neither nerves or injury played a part in her Wimbledon final thrashing at the hands of Simona Halep.

The Romanian lifted her maiden title at the All England Club with a 6-2 6-2 hammering of the seven-time champion in less than an hour on Centre Court.

Williams was aiming to equal Margaret Court's record tally of 24 grand slam singles triumphs but, for a third time in a row in major finals, she came up short.

Her cause was not helped by 26 unforced errors – dwarfing Halep's count of just three – but Williams, who was hampered by a troublesome knee issue earlier this season, was still able to look back positively on her campaign.

"I don't think there was too much tension," Williams said in her media conference, later adding: "I can't say I blame injury.

"I wasn't injured when the tournament started. That really is a positive for me.

"So I just think that I just have to just keep going, keep trying, keep working, maybe be able to play some tournaments uninjured, like I did with this one. Just keep moving forward."

Asked if she feels more nervous as she enters the latter stages of her career, Williams replied: "In my 20s, I'm always expected to win, but it's a different circumstance for me.

"It seems like every grand slam final I'm in recently has been an unbelievable effort to get there. It would be interesting to see how it would be under different circumstances.

"I can't say that I have a lot of tension or [am] super tense. The only thing I can say is today I think my opponent played unbelievable."

With the final major of the year, the US Open, to start in late August, Williams is keen to manage her schedule and avoid fatigue.

"Well, I'm entered in Toronto and Cincinnati," she said. "I don't think I need to play San Jose in addition to that. I think there's a limit. I think if I overdo it, then that could also be a problem. Especially on the hard courts.

"I've been on the softer surfaces, so to say. It would be interesting to see how my knee is on the hard court. I definitely don't want to do three tournaments before a grand slam. I think it will be fine."

Related items

  • Ramos-Vinolas marches on in Zhuhai Ramos-Vinolas marches on in Zhuhai

    Albert Ramos-Vinolas needed only 74 minutes to breeze past Yoshihito Nishioka at the Zhuhai Open on Monday.

    The 31-year-old dispatched Nishioka 6-2 6-1, dropping only five points on first serve as he eased into the second round.

    Adrian Mannarino will face top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas after overcoming home favourite Zhang Ze 7-6 (8-6) 7-5, while Cameron Norrie beat Peter Gojowczyk in straight sets to book a meeting with Gael Monfils.

    Andy Murray begins his campaign on Tuesday against Tenny Sandgren, who beat the former world number one in straight sets at the Winston-Salem Open last month.

    In Chengdu, Cristian Garin's strong 2019 continued with a 6-3 6-2 defeat of Kyle Edmund, a match he described as his best on a hard court this year.

    Garin, who won titles in Houston and Munich this year and has won 26 of his 43 matches on tour, will face Fernando Verdasco or Alexei Popyrin in the next round.

    Edmund's compatriot Dan Evans claimed a 6-3 4-6 7-6 (7-4) victory against Bai Yan, while Bradley Klahn was a straight-sets winner over Jason Jung.

  • Kvitova battles through as seeds tumble in Wuhan Kvitova battles through as seeds tumble in Wuhan

    Two-time Wuhan Open champion Petra Kvitova is into the third round after a battling straight-sets win over Polona Hercog.

    A forearm injury has blighted the second half of 2019 for Kvitova, who failed to get beyond the first two rounds at Cincinnati or the US Open, but Wuhan has proved a happy hunting ground in the past and yielded titles in 2014 and 2016.

    The 29-year-old was given a test by world number 52 Hercog but claimed a 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 triumph in just over an hour and 42 minutes, thereby setting up a third-round meeting with Sloane Stephens or Wang Yifang.

    Defending champion Aryna Sabalenka continued her imperious form on the hard courts of Wuhan, thrashing Danielle Collins 6-1 6-0.

    Collins knocked out compatriot Venus Williams in the opening round but was utterly blown away after an early hold of serve, losing in just 51 minutes and without mustering a single break point.

    It was otherwise a bleak day for the seeded players, with Angelique Kerber falling to Monica Puig and Caroline Wozniacki beaten by Hsieh Su-wei.

    Eleventh-seed Kerber lost an epic showdown with Puig 7-6 (7-5) 5-7 6-1 in a match that lasted just 13 minutes shy of three hours.

    "I don't think I've practiced that long in a really long time," said Puig, who faces Alison Riske in the next round. "She pushes me to the extra level. I just had to continue to fight and believe in myself."

    Wozniacki was beaten for the second time in 2019 by Hsieh, who claimed a 6-7 (2-7) 6-1 6-2 win and will now meet Svetlana Kuznetsova.

    Donna Vekic, seeded 16th, and 14th-seed Anastasija Sevastova were also beaten, both going down 4-6 6-3 6-3 to Ons Jabeur and Christina Mchale respectively.

    Garbine Muguruza saw off Shuai Peng 6-3 6-2 in an impressive outing, while Sofia Kenin, Elise Mertens, Rebecca Peterson, Amanda Anisimova and Veronika Kudermetova also progressed.

  • Tashkent favourite Kuzmova battles into second round Tashkent favourite Kuzmova battles into second round

    Tashkent Open top seed Viktoria Kuzmova overcame a stern challenge from Francesa Di Lorenzo in her first-round tie on Monday.

    World number 56 Kuzmova was forced to a tie-break in the first set, finally overcoming Di Lorenzo 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 when she broke the American before serving out the next point to take the lead.

    Di Lorenzo, ranked 85 places lower than the favourite, forced a break at the start of the second set, but could not hold her nerve as her opponent rallied to win five games in a row, securing passage to round two with her third match point.

    Greet Minnen will be Kuzmova's rival in the round of 16, after she overcame Kateryna Bondarenko, while Alison Van Uytvanck dispatched qualifier Liudmila Samsonova 6-0 6-1.

    Meanwhile, Jelena Ostapenko - French Open champion in 2017 - was forced to retire hurt from her meeting with Katarina Zavatska.

    Defending champion Margarita Gasparyan is in action on Tuesday against Stefanie Voegele. If victorious, she will go up against Danka Kovinic, who beat wildcard Sabina Sharipova 6-0 5-7 6-2.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.