American defeats Strycova 6-1, 6-2 to set up a final meeting with Simona Halep.
Clobbering huge serves and forehands, the veteran American was always in control, with her setting up a showdown with former world number one Simona Halep on Saturday. The 37-year-old Serena will become the oldest woman to contest a Grand Slam final in the professional era and victory will take her alongside Margaret Court’s record 24 singles majors.
Strycova, the oldest first-time Grand Slam semi-finalist at 33, boasts of a tricky game, which scrambled the mind of Britain’s Johanna Konta in the quarter-finals. But seven-time Wimbledon champion Serena is made of much sterner stuff and simply bulldozed her way through her opponent’s lightweight resistance.
Strycova held for 1-1 in the first set but any notion that a contest would break out disappeared in the blink of an eye as she went 1-5 behind. She had a chance to slow down her rival’s momentum when she got to 0-40 on the 11th seed’s serve. But Serena raised the tempo to reel off five points, ending the first set in 27 minutes with an ace.
Serena broke for 3-2 in the second set as Strycova dribbled an attempted drop shot into the net. The former broke again to move 5-2 ahead — Strycova emitting a piercing scream as she wafted a straightforward volley long. The crowd wanted Strycova to hang in for a little longer. It roared its approval when she showed great defensive skills to win the first point as Serena served for the match.
But there was no chance of a comeback. Serena fired down a huge serve on match point and had the simplest of forehands to stroke away and seal her place in the final.
Halep rolls over Svitolina
In years to come when tennis fans flick through the hefty 500-page Wimbledon Compendium, they will note that in 2019 Simona Halep rolled over Ukrainian eighth seed Elina Svitolina in the semi-finals.
What the 6-1, 6-3 scoreline will not reveal, however, is that Halep took nine minutes to hold serve in the opening game of the contest played out in glorious sunshine at Centre Court. It won’t tell people that Svitolina earned and squandered three break points.
Readers will also have no idea that the first two games alone lasted 20 minutes, featuring 10 break points and that Svitolina could have been 2-0 up if she had capitalised on the opportunities that fell her way. Instead, it was Halep who grabbed the 2-0 lead and then ran away with a victory. It put her one win from becoming the first Romanian to lift a Wimbledon singles trophy.