Serena Williams has dominated her Wimbledon finals opponent Simona Halep in their head-to-head matchups to date. Williams has a 9-1 advantage over Halep, according to MatchStat. The two have not squared off at Wimbledon since 2011 when Williams survived three sets in a second-round matchup.
The last two meetings came at Grand Slam tournaments. Williams needed three sets to advance past the Round of 16 at this year’s Australian Open. She won 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 over the 27-year-old Romanian in the quarterfinals of the 2016 U.S. Open. Halep’s only victory in the 10 meetings came at a round-robin at the 2014 WTA Finals.
Williams emphasized to the New York Daily News that she will use that lone blemish as motivation entering Saturday.
“The biggest key with our matches is the loss that I had. I never forgot it. She played unbelievable,” Williams said. “That makes me know that level she played at — she can get there again. So I have to be better than that.”
Williams has been dominant at Wimbledon with seven titles including his last one coming in 2016. Meanwhile, Halep’s only major victory came at the 2018 French Open with a 3-set victory over Sloane Stephens. She had never advanced past the semifinals at the All England Club before this year.
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Williams Has Won 23 Grand Slams, While Halep Has 1 Major Title
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Overall, Williams has won 23 Grand Slams. If she continues her trend against Halep on Saturday, she will tie Margaret Court for most Grand Slam singles titles with 24. Serena has also won 14 doubles and two mixed doubles titles.
Williams has impressively made 31 Grand Slam finals in her singles career, boasting a 23-8 record. She has lost two in a row, including last year’s U.S. Open to Naomi Osaka and Wimbledon to Angelique Kerber.
Halep sports a 1-3 record in Grand Slam finals. In addition to her 2018 French Open breakthrough, she lost in Paris twice (2014, 2017), plus last year in the Australian Open to Caroline Wozniacki.
Despite the lack of success in the previous meetings, Halep insisted that her focus is on Wimbledon rather than Williams.
“I’m desperate to win Wimbledon more than to stop her,” she told the Telegraph. “I will focus on myself.”
Stanley Kay of Sports Illustrated laid out the game plan for Halep to pull the upset at Centre Court.
Halep is a clear underdog on Saturday, and to win she’ll have to serve exceptionally well to put pressure on Williams and her service games. That will prove challenging, as Halep’s serve isn’t especially formidable, but a consistent first serve will be vital—her second serve is no match for Williams’s power. She’ll also try to extend points and move Williams around the court; Halep’s exceptional defense can put pressure on Williams and force her into mistakes.
Williams Enters the 2019 Wimbledon Matchup as the Heavy Favorite
Williams is the clear betting favorite, as Action Network has her at -178 over Halep. The site also has the over/under at 21.5 games.
Seeing as Halep has forced the previous two meetings into three sets, I’m predicting a similar result here. Williams will turn her power on the same way she did against Barbora Strycova and overwhelm Halep in the final two sets en route to the title.