SIMONA Halep was in dreamland yesterday after producing the best performance of her life to stun Serena Williams and claim the ladies singles title at Wimbledon. When the 27-year-old, the first Romanian to play in the ladies’ final here, lifted the Venus Rosewater dish after taking only 56 minutes to claim a 6-2, 6-2 victory, it fulfilled a childhood prediction made by her mother Tania, who was present at Centre Court yesterday to see it happen.

While Halep is a former World No 1 who already has one French Open title under her belt, the manner of the victory in particular was a shock for most observers. It was the third time Williams has finished runner up since the birth of her daughter Olympia in late 2016, and leaves her stuck on 23 Grand Slams, one less than the all-time record set by Australia’s Margaret Court, even if 13 of hers came before the Open Era.

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“This is something very special, I will never forget this day,” said Halep. “It was my mum’s dream, she said if I was going to achieve anything in tennis I had to play the final of Wimbledon. Today the day came, and now they will give me a membership for life. So now I am happy.

“She didn't say anything because she was crying,” she added. “I just hugged her and I kissed her. I knew she's very emotional. I just told her that we'll talk later.”