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Wimbledon 2019: Simona Halep advances to women's final

By Alex Butler
Wimbledon 2019: Simona Halep advances to women's final
Simona Halep will become the first Romanian woman to play in a Wimbledon final when she takes the court Saturday at the All-England Club in London. Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI | License Photo

July 11 (UPI) -- Simona Halep beat Elina Svitolina in straight sets to advance to the 2019 Wimbledon women's singles final Thursday in London.

The seventh-seeded Romanian will face Serena Williams or Barbora Strycova in the final Saturday at the All-England Club. Halep will be playing in her first Wimbledon final. The 2018 French Open champion also reached the 2018 Australian Open final.

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"It's an amazing feeling," Halep told the BBC after the 6-1, 6-3 victory on center court. "I'm really excited and also nervous. It's one of the best moments of my life so I'm trying to enjoy it as much as possible and to be happy I could go to the final."

Halep, 27, won Thursday's semifinal in 1:12. She fired 26 winners and won eight points at the net against Svitolina. Halep won the first game of the first set on a backhand forced error committed by Svitolina. Svitolina had the same fate to fall behind 2-0 in the first set.

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The Ukrainian won the third game by breaking Halep's serve. Halep finished off her counterpart by winning the final four games of the first set. Svitolina took a 1-0 lead in the second set and went back-and-forth with Halep until take a 3-2 lead in the fifth game, with Halep losing on a forehand forced error.

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Halep recalibrated and won the final four games of the second set, winning the match.

Williams owns a 9-2 career record against Halep, including a first round win at the 2019 Australian Open. The 23-time Grand Slam champion has won her last five matches against Halep. Halep's last victory against Williams came at the 2015 BNP Paribas Open, when Williams withdrew because of a knee injury.

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Halep's other win against Williams came in straight sets at the 2014 WTA Championships. She is the first Romanian woman to play in a Wimbledon final.

"I have more experience," Halep said. "I'm positive on the court. I'm not giving up anymore. I have learned many things in the last five years. I'm trying to be the best version of myself every time I step onto the court."

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