Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Roger Federer talks plans for 2020

Wimbledon 2020 could be Roger Federer's competitive curtain call.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion says he will play The Championships next year and will definitely decide "over the next few weeks" whether he will play beyond Wimbledon or pull the plug on his brilliant career.

“Inside myself I decided that I want to play until Wimbledon,” Federer said in comments published by Eurosport. “Now I am busy about making a choice for Tokyo [2020 Olympic Games].

"I already discussed about it with my team and I asked how they see it. I also spoke with [wife] Mirka. I will definitely take a decision over the next weeks."

The eight-time Wimbledon champion is in Geneva for Laver Cup this week.

Federer didn't say if or when he'd reveal his final decision and said maintaining a balance between family life and playing schedule is vital.

“For me it’s just important to have a stretch of tournaments and enjoy a break, have enough time for my family," Federer said.

Partnering buddy Stan Wawrinka, Federer struck doubles gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games then fell to Andy Murray in the gold-medal match at the 2012 London Games. Federer said he hopes to play the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, but has not reached a final decision.

"I'm very excited about the prospect of maybe playing the Olympic Games, but I'm not quite sure yet," Federer said. "My planning goes until Wimbledon next year which is a couple of weeks before the Olympics, so I guess I'm going to be deciding on the Olympic Games in the next few weeks, hopefully the next month or so.

"It's been such a special event for me over the years. Me and my wife in 2000 carrying the flag in Athens and Beijing for the Swiss Olympic delegation which was a huge dream for me come true."

The 38-year-old Swiss came achingly close to collecting his 21st Grand Slam championship—and first since the 2018 Australian Open—holding two championship points in the Wimbledon final.

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic denied championship points in the final set fighting off Federer, 7-6 (5), 1-6, 7-6 (4), 4-6, 13-12 (3) to successfully defend his Wimbledon title in The Championships' longest final—and first men’s major final decided in a fifth-set tie breaker.

Federer has contested the Wimbledon final in five of his last eight appearances at SW19. The five-time US Open champion's last Flushing Meadows final was in 2015.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Simona Halep & coach Darren Cahill to reunite in 2020

Simona Halep will team up with coach Darren Cahill once again for the 2020 season, the former WTA World No.1 announced via her social channels.

The Australian announced a split with his long-time pupil during November 2018, expressing that he wished “to be home more for support as our children enter important stages of their lives”.

It brought to an end a successful three-year collaboration, which saw Halep become WTA World No.1 for the first time in 2017 and pick up a maiden Grand Slam title at the 2018 French Open.

Although Halep won Wimbledon this year, defeating Serena Williams in the final, she has struggled to match the consistency she managed in 2018 and has slipped to WTA World No.6.

However, she will be reunited with Cahill for the coming year.

“I have some exciting news to share with you,” Halep told her social media followers. “After a year without him on my team, I’m happy to announce that Darren will be back by my side next season."

Jokingly, she added: “So, D, last time I killed you, and I’m playing to kill you again. I can’t wait to finish what we started. See you soon!”

Halep, who had a trial spell with coach Thierry Van Cleemput earlier this year, is currently recuperating from an ankle injury that forced her out of Zhengzhou.


And the good news keeps on coming!. 

Seriously, can we fast forward to next season already?! ♥ 

I have no doubt that with Darren, Simona will be back to the consistent player she's been over the years and I'm looking forward to watching it. 

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Kim Clijsters plans to return to professional tennis circuit in 2020!

ST PETERSBURG, FL, USA – The WTA today welcomed news that former World No.1 Kim Clijsters, winner of 41 career singles titles including four Grand Slams and three season-ending WTA Finals, is in training with plans to compete on the professional tennis tour in 2020.

Clijsters, who played the first professional matches of her career on the ITF Circuit in 1997 and made her WTA debut age 15 at Antwerp in 1999, was 29 years old when she played her last competitive matches at the US Open in 2012. Now 36, the Belgian eyes her return to the tennis circuit as a mother of three – daughter Jada was born in February 2008, followed by sons Jack (2013) and Blake (2016). She is also a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, having been inducted in the Class of 2017.

“Kim Clijsters ranks among the greats of the game and her return to the Tour is exciting news for the WTA family and tennis fans around the world,” said Steve Simon, WTA Chairman and CEO. “Driven by her love for the sport, this wonderful champion continues to inspire women and men in all walks of life – and she only adds to the compelling wealth of talent in women’s tennis. I wish Kim all the best in this next chapter of her playing career.”

Clijsters’ ‘first career’ was highlighted by two victories at the WTA Finals (2002-03), 19 non-consecutive weeks as World No.1 on the WTA Rankings (first attained on August 11, 2003 for 10 weeks), and a maiden Grand Slam title at the 2005 US Open. That triumph at Flushing Meadows came after four runner-up finishes at Slams: Roland Garros in 2001 and 2003, the US Open in 2003 and the Australian Open in 2004.

She stepped away from tennis in May 2007, marrying Brian Lynch shortly after and giving birth to a daughter, Jada, the following year. But in July 2009, after 26 months away from the tour, she launched a famous comeback that began with a run to the quarterfinals at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. Then, in just her third tournament back, Clijsters won the US Open to become the first mother to win a Grand Slam title since Evonne Goolagong at Wimbledon in 1980. She defended the Flushing Meadows crown in 2010, before going on to capture a third WTA Finals title at Doha and win the 2011 Australian Open. Her victory in Melbourne helped Clijsters return to No.1 for a 20th career week in February 2011 – the only mother to hold the top spot since computer rankings began in November 1975.

Her last singles match was against Laura Robson in the second round at the 2012 US Open, which she lost in two tie-break sets. This was followed by a first round doubles exit partnering with fellow Belgian Kirsten Flipkens and finally, a second round appearance with Bob Bryan in the mixed doubles.

With 41 singles titles (41-19 record in finals), Clijsters still places third among active players, behind Serena Williams (72 titles) and Venus Williams (49) – and 14th on the Open Era list. She reached at least the semifinals on 16 of her 35 Grand Slam appearances and also shone in doubles, winning 2003 Roland Garros and Wimbledon (both with Ai Sugiyama) among 11 titles and spending 4 weeks at No.1. She remains one of just six women to simultaneously hold the top spot in both singles and doubles.

In addition to being a fan favorite, Clijsters won the WTA’s Peachy Kellmeyer Player Service Award in 2010 and the Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award a record eight times – both accolades decided by peer vote. She was named Most Impressive Newcomer by international media in 1999; Comeback Player of the Year in 2005 and 2009; and Player of the Year in 2005 and 2010. In recent years she served as a Legend Ambassador for the WTA Finals in Singapore.

As a former World No.1, Clijsters is eligible for unlimited wild cards at WTA tournaments. She will need play three tournaments or earn 10 ranking points to re-establish a ranking.


OMG this qualifies as the best news I've read in a while (I do admit I did double check the date of the article to make sure it wasn't a joke). 

I say why not?. 

How many times did Martina Hingis come back from retirement? 2, 3 4? I've lost count. 

And she won many more doubles titles. Including Grand Slams.

It'll be interesting to see if Kim plans to focus mainly on singles, or do a little bit of everything. With so many players nowadays playing well into their late 30's Kim could definitely still make a go of it.

It's funny I was just recently comparing Kim to Bianca Andreescu in terms of her ability to do the splits, and now Kim is actually returning to do them herself.

I am so excited, bring it on 2020!.

Saturday, September 07, 2019

Canada finally has their first Grand Slam Tennis Champion @ U.S. Open!

NEW YORK, NY, USA - Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu capped off her breakthrough 2019 season with Grand Slam glory at the US Open, playing indomitable tennis to survive 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, 6-3, 7-5 to win her first major title.

Andreescu hasn't lost a completed match since February, and the Rogers Cup champion withstood a late hiccup to extend her winning streak to 13 straight and become the first Canadian woman to win a Grand Slam singles title in the Open Era, winning after one hour and 39 minutes on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Williams, who broke Stefanie Graf's Open Era record of Grand Slam singles titles at the 2017 Australian Open, was making her fourth attempt to tie Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 after finishing runner-up at the last two Wimbledon Championships and 2018 US Open final.
Bianca Andreescu became the first Canadian in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam singles title, shocking 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams in straight sets.

Dropping just one set en route to the final, Williams, who spent 14 months away from the sport to marry and give birth to daughter Alexis Olympia, looked to begin with a strong service hold.

The BNP Paribas Open champion, undaunted in the face of the biggest match of her career, flipped a 40-15 deficit to break off a double fault from the American.

The American initially remained within one break and aimed to pump herself up after saving a whopping five break points in the seventh game. Down break point on her own serve, the No.15 seed gamely saved it and broke once more in the next game to capture the opening set.

With a quick break to start the second, Andreescu shook off losing a long service game of her own to reclaim the initiative and race out to a 5-1 lead, holding her first championship point on serve.

Williams saved it and put on a brave last stand, winning 16 of 20 points to level the set as nerves set in for the teenager. With her back against the wall, Andreescu stopped the run of games to again put herself within four points of victory.

Striking a forehand winner for 15-30, Andreescu earned two more championship points when Williams ended a long rally with a backhand error. Saving a second match point off an ace, the American couldn't save a third as Andreescu batted a way a forehand winner to clinch victory.

In all, it was a clean match from Andreescu, who struck 18 winners to 17 unforced errors, converting five of 12 break point opportunities while winning a solid 64% of first serve points.

Already set to make her Top 10 debut regardless of result, Andreescu is tentatively set to move up to No.5 on Monday's rankings.

I haven't been talking about Bianca Andreescu much this year when I really should have because the rest of the world certainly has!. 

She has been on a remarkable run this year, that seemingly came out of nowhere. 

And she topped it off with the first ever Grand Slam title for Canada, against none other than Serena Williams. 

It doesn't get better than that. 

Her poise and composure reminds me so much of a teenage Martina Hingis it's uncanny. 

Granted Hingis never had the same type of power on her shots, but the way she's able to out play and out smart opponents with variety is so similar. 

I would even go as far as saying she's like a cross between Martina Hingis and Simona Helap. 

Her slides on hard court remind me a lot of Kim Clijsters. They're so fun to watch. 

That relentless fighting spirit against opponents in the top ten is just remarkable. 

When she lost the 5-1 lead in the second set after having won the first and Serena got back to 5-all I thought, oh no now Serena will make the comeback in the 3rd and that will be the end of that. 

But Bianca held her nerve and broke Serena again to win it in straights. That is mental resilience of the highest order. The kind you need to win all the big titles. 

It'll be interesting to see how she handles it all now. There's going to be so much attention on her, and with so much success eventually you get a target on your back.

I'll be very curious to see how the rest of this season ends for her after this. 

But for the moment I'm just going to bask in the happiness of the first ever Canadian Grand Slam Champ, courtesy of a 19 year old from my hometown. 

Take a bow Bianca. Outstanding ♥

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Roger Federer: 'Got To Take The Losses. They're Part Of The Game'

After more than two decades on Tour, Roger Federer has learned to treat losses as the individual moments they are.

The third-seeded Swiss bowed out of the US Open on Tuesday after his five-set defeat to Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov. Federer didn’t hide his disappointment at a missed opportunity for a sixth US Opencrown and his first since 2008, but was quickly able to put the loss in perspective.

“Just disappointed it's over because I did feel like I was actually playing really well after a couple of rocky starts. It's just a missed opportunity to some extent that you're in the lead, you can get through, you have two days off after. It was looking good,” Federer said. “But got to take the losses. They're part of the game. Looking forward to family time and all that stuff, so... Life's all right.”

Occasional losses don't overshadow Federer's highlight-filled year. The 38-year-old clinched his 100th ATP Tour singles title this March at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships (d. Tsitsipas), then followed it up with fourth Miami Open presented by Itau crown (d. Isner) and a 10th title at the NOVENTI OPEN (d. Goffin). Federer also held two championship points before falling in the Wimbledon final (l. to Djokovic), reached the Roland Garros semi-finals in his first trip to that event since 2015 and finished runner-up at the BNP Paribas Open (l. to Thiem).

Federer’s efforts led have to him qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals, held at the O2 in London from 10-18 November, for a record-extending 17th time. He’ll build up for the season-ending championships with a packed schedule of events, including next week’s Laver Cup before heading to Asia for the Rolex Shanghai Masters.

The Swiss may need a day or two to shake off his loss to Dimitrov, but is optimistic that he can finish this season on a high note.

“I think it's still been a positive season,” Federer said. “Disappointing now, but I'll get back up, I'll be all right.”

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Roger Federer's U.S. Open curse continues as he falls short in the quarter-finals

Roger Federer has lost another 5 setter in a Grand Slam where he had a real shot to go all the way. But instead of the usual heartbreak, all I felt at first was overwhelming concern.

I knew the match was pretty much over the moment he called the physio on to court in the 4th set (because that's basically something that happens once in a blue moon).

As the night went on and I found out post match that his back was going to be a ok, my mind once again started lamenting another huge lost opportunity.

An opportunity which I honestly thought would be a long shot with Roger only having won a few matches on the hard courts of Cincinnati before heading to the U.S. Open. And things were not looking great through his first 2 night matches where he lost the opening sets.

But he started to make a believer out of me when he dealt with his next 2 opponents (during a day matches) with the standard ease that he produces at Grand Slams. So I and the rest of the world were pretty confident coming into the quarters, but none of us could have foreseen the turn of events that transpired. Events that even as I write this I'm still trying to get my head around.

The few reasons I've come up with is maybe he started thinking about it too much (with Djokovic out due to shoulder injury) and having a good H2H with all of his remaining opponents (including Nadal). Hell I'll admit I was guilty of thinking too far ahead as well, too excited for the prospect of a possible first time meeting between Fed and Rafa at the U.S. Open.

Perhaps that knowledge on some subconscious level made him tighten up in key moments. Whereas his opponent, just loosened up after losing the first set and went for broke seeing his opponent wasn't as sharp as he started off.

Maybe it was playing a night match, which seemed to be an achillies heel for him this tournament and he could not produce his best throughout. In his career night matches is what he lived for and dominated especially in New York, it was always day matches where he struggled more.

But this year it has been the complete reverse. He said the court felt slower at night and he really had trouble adjusting to that. So maybe that's a bit of a factor as well. But the deciding factor turned out to be that he tweaked something in his back, which when it has happened has always been debilitating.

Last time he had a back issue, he did not play well for a year and everyone started writing him off stating his age as usual. Which I have no doubt will get plenty of mentions this time around as well. It was very clear by the way he lost that 5th set that things were not right. So perhaps it was a combination of all of it, that contributed to this loss. But I guess we'll never really know for sure.

I would also just like to point out that Roger despite the fact he knew he had no shot of winning the 5th set (due to his body not co-operating) that unlike Djokovic, Federer did not retire and finished the match.

That ladies and gentleman is what we call class.

Unlike all his other 5 set losses this year (Wimbledon will stay with me for a long time to come) I came away from this one more able to look at the positives. Maybe it's because this was just a quarter final so it hurts a little less, but also because it seems like the injury is not serious which means the rest of the year can still end on a high.

And although Grand Slams have seen nothing but heartbreak for Roger in 2019 the year has not been a total loss. He did win titles in Dubai, Halle, and Miami. Reaching the mile stone of 102 career titles. The silver lining here is that as long as he stays healthy there's no reason why he won't be able to create the same opportunities for more Grand Slams in 2020.

With both Djokovic and now Federer out it's hard not to see this title belonging to anyone other than Rafa Nadal.

Just like Wimbledon it's the women's draw that's proving even more exciting and unpredictable. Of course everyone is hoping and expecting Serena to finally win her 24th, but I wouldn't be so sure. All the players left could definitely give her a challenge, and that's worth watching.

The Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu is having an amazing season, having won Indian Wells and Roger's Cup in Toronto and now battling for a spot in the semis of U.S. Open tonight.

Belinda Bencic continues to flourish as well. She beat Donna Vekic today to become the first Swiss woman since Martina Hingis in 2001 to reach the semis.

If Andreescu wins tonight that will make for a mouth watering women's semi-final.

On the other side of the draw you have Elina Svitolina who'll be playing Serena Williams.

Serena leads their H2H but Svitolina does have one win. All the ladies remaining have a win over Serena in fact so whoever makes it to the final it promises to be a good one. 

Monday, September 02, 2019

Roger Federer thrashes Goffin eases into U.S. Open quarters

Roger Federer played just two hard-court matches leading into this year’s US Open. But after dropping the opening set in each of his first two matches at Flushing Meadows, the five-time champion has found his rhythm in New York.

Third-seeded Federer defeated No. 15 seed David Goffin 6-2, 6-2, 6-0 after one hour and 19 minutes on Sunday to reach his 13th US Open quarter-final, tying former World No. 1 Andre Agassi for the second most in the Open Era. It is also his record-extending 56th trip to the last eight of a Grand Slam.

"Sometimes these scores just happen. You catch a good day, the opponent doesn't, then things happen very quickly. Maybe he struggled a bit early on," Federer said. "But I found my groove after a while and was able to roll, really. Never looked back."
Most US Open Quarter-finals (Open Era)
 Jimmy Connors 17
 Andre Agassi 13
 Roger Federer 13
 Ivan Lendl 12
 Novak Djokovic 11*
*to play Sunday evening

No player has won the US Open after losing the first set in each of his first two rounds. But Federer has steadily improved his level as he continues chasing a 21st Grand Slam trophy. Against Goffin, the 102-time tour-level titlist crushed 35 winners and made only 17 unforced errors.

"David wasn't nearly as good as I expected him to be. He was struggling a little bit today," Federer said. "I was able to take advantage of it, and I think that's the key. In a fourth round like this, if you can keep it nice, short, simple, you have to take them. I'm very happy."

In the opening stages of the match, it seemed Goffin — who reached his first ATP Masters 1000 final at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati — may challenge for his second FedEx ATP Head2Head victory against Federer after breaking for a 2-1 lead in the opening set. The Belgian had defeated the Swiss on a big stage before, doing so at the 2017 Nitto ATP Finals.

But Federer responded in a major way, immediately breaking back and during one stretch winning 18 of 20 points. It proved too difficult for Goffin to hold his serve throughout the match. The rallies were clearly on Federer's racquet, breaking on nine of his 10 opportunities and winning 60 per cent of his first-serve return points.

When Federer came to net, he was in strong position to do so, winning 19 of 23 points when he ventured to net. Goffin on the other hands did not able to enjoy the success, emerging victorious on just four of 11 trips forward. The 28-year-old also uncharacteristically made more than double the number of unforced errors (17) as he hit winners (8).

Federer lost six games in the first set of each of his first two matches this US Open. In the third round, he dropped five total games against Daniel Evans and against Goffin, the Swiss lost only four total games.

Federer will next face 2017 Nitto ATP Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov or #NextGenATP Aussie Alex de Minaur, who is trying to reach his maiden major quarter-final.

Did You Know?

Federer's past two matches have been the fastest completed matches in the men's singles draw at this year's US Open. The Swiss beat Evans in one hour and 20 minutes before ousting Goffin in one hour and 19 minutes.

At the time I write this Novak Djokovic retired against Stan Wawrinka with a shoulder injury down 2 sets and a break. 

Which means there will be no Federer/Djokovic semi. Instead it might be Wawrinka/Medvedev. Nobody saw this coming. 

And now Roger is going to play Grigor Dimitrov in the quarters (who's finding some form this U.S. Open).

Friday, August 30, 2019

Roger Federer rights the ship and wins in straights to reach U.S. Open 4th round

There was no slow start for Roger Federer on Friday, as the Swiss soared into the Round of 16 at the US Open.

After conceding the opening set in both his first and second round victories, Federer ensured those initial struggles were an anomaly. He ousted Daniel Evans 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 to open Day 5 on Arthur AsheStadium.

"Sometimes you just have to trust your team and your warm-up, everything you've done for so long," Federer told Brad Gilbert of ESPN. "Maybe also Danny wasn't feeling it today. He played yesterday so maybe that was a competitive advantage for me. But I was able to play beautiful tennis today under a beautiful sky.

"I definitely think this is playing much faster than at night and even indoors. That's the key to winning here and staying around, to adjust to wind, heat and humidity. It makes the ball travel differently and I was able to manage it well."

Federer was the stronger player from the baseline, with his forehand ripping through the court in perfect, sunny conditions. He triumphed after a mere one hour and 19 minutes, launching 48 winners, including 10 aces. Moreover, Federer won 80 per cent of first serve points and 70 per cent on his second delivery.

“I had spoken to the team and we just said… We’re not going to overplay in the beginning. Take care of your serves. If he can smash winners, that's too good,” Federer said in his post-match press conference. “Over time, I got very comfortable and very confident. It's a good feeling to have after the last couple of matches.”

The five-time champion (2004-08) is into the Round of 16 for the 18th consecutive year. He has not missed the second week of the US Open since his debut appearance in 2000. Federer improved to 88-13 overall at Flushing Meadows.

"I think what matters the most for me is that I am in the [fourth] round, after those two slow starts. Give myself another opportunity to do better, and I did,” Federer said. “You almost tend to forget what happened and you move forward.”

Evans admitted that was outgunned and outclassed. "Obviously I didn't play my best today, but he got on top of me early and it was difficult. I guess he has every shot, so it's not ideal to have an opponent that has every shot.

"I think he won 92%, I saw on the board, of his first serves, and that's not good for me. So I just couldn't get in his games, and getting up on the serve, he returned well when I got my serve in. But no free points was tough, as well."

Federer was on the front foot from the start, breaking for 4-2 behind a sublime drop volley winner and a blasted backhand pass. Showtime Federer was in full flow, leaping for a spinning overhead smash in the next game. And he would streak to an early lead in the second set, breaking to love in the fourth game.

It was a clinical performance from the Basel native. A wayward approach from Evans gave Federer a break to open the third set, and while the Brit would draw level in the next game, it wasn't enough. The 38-year-old did not allow his opponent to establish any rhythm, eventually crossing the finish line with a service winner.

Federer, who qualified for a 17th Nitto ATP Finals with a first-round victory over Sumit Nagal, also prevailed in four sets in a second-round win over Damir Dzumhur. Against Evans, he improved to 3-0 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head, defeating the Brit at three of the four Grand Slams. He also triumphed at Wimbledon in 2016 and earlier this year at the Australian Open.

The World No. 3 will next face 15th seed David Goffin, who beat 2017 semi-finalist Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain 7-6(5), 7-6(9), 7-5. The Belgian hit 52 winners and won 76 per cent (19/25) of his trips to the net.

Goffin trails Federer 1-8 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series. Goffin recorded his lone victory two years ago during the semi-finals of the 2017 Nitto ATP Finals.


Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Roger Federer overcomes another slow start in his 100th match at U.S. Open


Third seed Roger Federer shook off a slow start against Damir Dzumhur in their second-round clash on Wednesday at the US Open, rounding into form to produce a 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 victory.

The Swiss, competing in his 100th US Open match (87-13), remained flawless in second-round matches in New York (19-0). Federer was made to work once again, having also dropped the opening set in his first-round clash on Monday against Indian qualifier Sumit Nagal. The five-time US Openchampion hadn't won from a set down in consecutive matches since 2014 Dubai (d. Djokovic and Berdych).

Dzumhur hadn’t taken a set off Federer in their two previous FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings, but the World No. 99 in the ATP Rankings was unawed by competing in Arthur Ashe Stadium. The Swiss looked out of sorts in the early stages of the match, hitting eight winners to 17 unforced errors as Dzumhur raised his level in crucial moments.

"He was my idol. He was a person out of the court and on the court I was following... He was definitely, for me, the best player in tennis history," Dzumhur told ATPTour.com before his latest clash against Federer. “I just think that I have to get in the match to try to play good, to try to do what I was doing in practice... If I play a really good game, I can always make trouble for any player."

After pondering his form at the changeover, Federer came out in full flight to start the second set. Pinning Dzumhur to the baseline with increased pace on both wings, the Swiss leapt in the air after rifling a forehand winner to hold serve for a 4-1 lead. Three games later, a double fault from the Bosnian levelled the match after one hour of play.

The third-set scoreline didn’t reflect the numerous challenges posed to Federer throughout. Dzumhur held at least one game point in five of the nine games, but Federer continued to come up with the goods - a backhand passing shot in the second game, a cheeky drop shot in the fourth game and a forehand winner in the seventh game - to keep bringing the score back to deuce. The Swiss took a commanding lead with an ace, marking his 43rd total winner of the match.

Federer scored an early break at 1-1 in the fourth set and the slight advantage was all he needed. A strong first serve from the Swiss wrapped up the match after two hours and 21 minutes.

Next up for Federer is No. 25 seed Lucas Pouille of France or Brit Daniel Evans. Federer is 2-0 against both men in their respective FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalries and hasn't dropped a set to either player.

Dropping the first set in 2 matches is worrisome for any Fed fan. But I'm still hoping it means he will improve as the week goes on.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Roger Federer overcomes a rusty slow start on opening night in New York


Roger Federer did not get off to an ideal start to his pursuit of a sixth US Open title Monday evening. But the third seed won, and that's what counts.

The five-time champion rallied past Nagal 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 in two hours and 30 minutes, guaranteeing a record-extending 17th qualification for the Nitto ATP Finals, the season finale at which he has triumphed six times.

Federer has now won his first-round match in 62 straight major appearances, improving his US Open record to 86-13 as he begins chasing his first trophy in New York since 2008.

His opponent, Nagal, certainly took advantage of the opportunity in the biggest match of his career to date. The World No. 190 walked onto Arthur Ashe Stadium Monday evening for his first Grand Slam main draw match without having ever earned a tour-level victory. But the 22-year-old showed little fear against Federer, who made 19 unforced errors in losing the first set.

But Nagal did not prove to have the weaponry to take the racquet out of Federer's hands. And once the Swiss found his range, he was a train rolling downhill on opening night at the year's final major.

After staving off three deuces in the first game of the second set, the 38-year-old battled hard to gain an advantage, converting his fourth break point of the next game to take the lead. Federer quickly extended his lead to 5-0, before clinching the 42-minute set when Nagal launched a forehand long.

Federer would break immediately in the next two sets, putting constant pressure on the qualifier, who told ATPTour.com before the match, "I've wanted this. I was telling my friends this yesterday. When people told me that Federer plays a qualifier, I was thinking how much I've always wanted this."

Nagal showed his fighting spirit in the fourth set, breaking back for 2-2 with an inside out forehand passing shot that blew past Federer at net. But this year's Dubai, Miami and Halle champion earned another break in the next game when the Indian missed an inside-out forehand wide, and he never looked back. Federer overcame four break points — including a 0/40 deficit — as he served for the match to move on.

The key proved to be Federer's pressure. Once he cut down his errors after the first set, he kept on top of Nagal, winning 33/50 net points compared to 7/17 for the qualifier.

Federer had lost a set in his first-round match at the US Open just once since 2003 (2017 vs. Tiafoe). The 20-time Grand Slam champion has not fallen in the opening round at a Grand Slam since 2003 Roland Garros.

Damir Dzumhur, who beat French qualifier Elliot Benchetrit 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-0, awaits in the next round. Federer will take confidence knowing he defeated the three-time ATP Tour champion in straight sets at Roland Garros and Wimbledon in 2015.


I expected him to be rusty having only played a couple of hard court matches coming into this, but oh boy was he ever.

This is what we call winning ugly.

After his post match interview Roger said he played rusty much like his beard (which is more of a stubble really).

But I'm happy he's shaving it off for his next match.

He looks much better without it. And weirdly always plays better too.

After a performance like this, things can only improve.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Roger Federer could have a chance to avenge Djokovic Wimbledon loss at U.S. Open

Roger Federer has been drawn in the top half of the US Open draw, setting up a potential semi-final showdown with top seed Novak Djokovic. The Swiss will play a qualifier in the first round and could meet 15th seed David Goffin in the fourth round. He is seeded to meet former finalist Kei Nishikori in the quarter-finals.

Djokovic will play Roberto Carballes Baena in the first round and could play former champion Stan Wawrinka or Kevin Anderson in the fourth round.

Nadal opens his campaign against Australian John Millman, who last year stunned Roger Federer in the fourth round. Nadal could meet fellow Spanish lefty Fernando Verdasco in the third round and John Isner or former champion Marin Cilic in the fourth round.

For the second straight year, Canadians Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov will meet in the first round. Eighth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas opens against Russian Andrey Rublev, who upset Roger Federer last week in Cincinnati.

Federer won five consecutive US Opens from 2004-08 and built a 40-match winning streak at the event before his surprise defeat to Juan Martin del Potro in the 2009 final at Flush Meadows.

Djokovic is the defending champion and also won the US Open in 2011 and '15. Nadal is also a three-time US Open champion, taking the title in 2010, '13 and '17.

Speaking after his late-morning practice session with Dominic Thiem Federer told ESPN that he would be otherwise occupied when the draw is made. "I don't watch the draws, I don't like it," Federer said. "I'd rather just get through it and see where I fall. Players getting through to the quarters or the semis, that's really for you guys to debate. My focus really lies in the first couple of rounds."

Not the worst draw he's ever had here that's for sure. If he gets past the first few rounds he could play his way into it. Despite only having played 2 matches on hard courts thus far. 

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Roger Federer suffers shot defeat in Cincinnati 3rd round but says he'll be fine for U.S. Open

Roger Federer endured one of the most surprising losses of his career on Thursday at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, falling to rising Russian qualifier Andrey Rublev in just 62 minutes. But after his outstanding season, the seven-time champion sees little reason to ring the alarms in his first tournament since Wimbledon.

"I played 45 matches this year, so I think I should be fine,” said Federer.

Federer looked out of sorts from the start on Stadium Court, missing shots that would normally be clean winners and converting only seven of his 19 trips to the net. Part of his uneasiness in the match had to do with facing a brand new opponent, a rarity for the Swiss at this stage of his career. But Federer praised Rublev's clutch tennis as the main reason for the end result.

"If I play Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic, I know more or less what they are going to do or can do. That's different with a player you play for the first time," said Federer. "It's maybe a small advantage to have over us, but regardless, you've still got to hit the corners, hit the lines, keep it going. He did exactly that. He was really perfect today. It was a great performance."

After 21 years on the ATP Tour, Federer has a keen eye for which players have the potential to reach the highest levels of the game. He was impressed by what he saw in the 21-year-old Russian, who only lost four points on serve in the second set and dictated the tempo of most of their baseline exchanges.

"You need an opponent that maybe lets you get by some tougher moments, but he didn't do that," said Federer. "He was super clean. Defence, offence, serving well. Didn't give me anything. He was everywhere. It was tough for me, but an excellent match by him. I was impressed... I think I just have to play better overall to hang with him."

The Swiss will now turn his attention to the US Open, where he looks to win a sixth title and his first since 2008. In a season that has seen him win three titles (Miami, Halle and Dubai) in addition to runner-up finishes in Wimbledon and Indian Wells, he believes an extra few days of rest and recovery could be just as beneficial as match play.

“It’s also very important for me to see that I'm injury-free and I'm feeling good. Regardless of the outcome of this week, I'm happy I came here,” said Federer. “I had good practice sessions. I worked very hard coming into Cincinnati and in that little season we had since Wimbledon, so I can maybe also utilise a couple of days off. I’m going to train, do exactly what I need to do for the US Open and that’s it. It’s fairly simple, but I’ve got to work hard.”

I was going to chuck this one up to lack of match play but that's never been an issue for Roger, so I'm going with facing a first time opponent and playing in the day time. 

Or Roger simply having a really off day. 

It's too bad because I no longer have anyone to root for in Cincinnati now. Even all my fave WTA players are gone (Halep has just lost to Keys in 3). 

So yeah, bye Cincinnati see you next year. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Roger Federer back to business in Cincinnati opener

Roger Federer has won more titles at the Western & Southern Open than anyone else with seven. And on Tuesday evening, the Swiss superstar made a good start towards Cincinnati title No. 8.

In his first match as a 38-year-old, rain nor Juan Ignacio Londero could stop Federer, who took a 6-3, 6-4 decision in the second round, winning 83 per cent of his second-serve points in a 61-minute match that was delayed by about an hour during the second set due to a brief downpour.

"[I’m] very happy. I thought it was tricky with the rain delay and everything, but I’m happy to be back on the courts,” Federer said. “It’s totally different to the grass courts and the clay courts we have seen, so this is the beginning of a long, long hard-court swing. So it’s nice to start off with a win."

This was Federer’s first match since letting two championship points slip in the Wimbledon final against World No. 1 Novak Djokovic. The third seed is pursuing his 29th ATP Masters 1000 title.

The World No. 3 got off to a flying start against this year's Cordoba Open champion, breaking to love when the Cincinnati debutant double faulted into the net at 15/40 in his first service game. Federer quickly raced to secure that advantage, holding for 3-0, and he didn't look back from there in the opener. The father of four struck seven aces and lost just five service points in the first set, which took just 22 minutes

Londero shrugged off his early nerves and held in his five service games after getting broken to start the encounter. And he successfully slowed down the Federer train before rain suspended play at 2-2, 15/15 on the Argentine's serve at the second set.

But in search of his first Top 10 win and Masters 1000 victory, Londero could not maintain his momentum. When the players returned to the court, Federer broke serve immediately thanks to a Londero double fault, and that was the only advantage he needed. The Swiss saved the only break point he faced in the next game with a half volley drop shot winner.

"Conditions are fast. We barely had any rallies in the first set. It was just bang-bang tennis," Federer said. "He had a good forehand. He hides it well with the grip, and because I have never played him before, it's hard to see the release happening. I think he actually can play very well on the faster hard court. He moves well, can take the ball early. He has the option to go back, but maybe here it's just a tad too fast. "

Despite missing out on a match point on the World No. 55's serve, Federer served out his victory, finishing it off with a jamming body serve that went unreturned.

"I liked what I saw. I think he's going to have a good career. He's a good fighter. I saw especially a good fight from him against Rafa at the French Open. And even though he was down two sets to love and a break and you think, 'Well, you know, it's over', he kept believing and kept fighting. This is a quality I respect a lot in a player. That's why I knew it was going to be tough maybe today."

Federer leads the ATP Tour this season in winning percentage according to the FedEx ATP Performance Zone, emerging victorious in 88.6 per cent of his matches. If the 102-time tour-level titlist makes the semi-finals, he will finish the week with the ATP Tour lead in matches won, passing Rafael Nadal’s 41.

Did You Know?

Federer lost his opening match in Cincinnati in three of his first four appearances at the tournament. But since it last happened in 2004, the Swiss has not dropped his first match here once, making the final in his past three visits.

Way to bounce back Roger. Good to have you back Swiss man!. I swear he deals better with tough loses than we (his fans) do :D. 

Loving the new outfit too :).

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Roger Federer talks about what he's been up to since that Wimbledon loss

Most people would be despondent after not converting two championship points to lose a Wimbledon final. Roger Federer went caravaning with his family the next day.

That isn’t to say the Swiss is immune to the magnitude of what happened against Novak Djokovic in London. He admitted to having “flashbacks” when he began training for this week’s Western & Southern Open. But after 21 years on tour, Federer has learned to treat matches as individual moments. After a family vacation and some relatively light training sessions, he’s only looking forward as he seeks an eighth crown in Cincinnati.

”You look back for a few days while you decompress what happened. There are flashbacks of the final, both the good moments and bad moments, when you go back to the practice court,” said Federer. “Those usually go away after the first couple of sessions and then it’s just getting ready for Cincinnati.

”We went caravaning the day after my Wimbledon and enjoyed Switzerland. I relaxed for a bit and then started practising, fitness first and then tennis after. It’s more about coming in fresh for this tournament and not killing myself during the practices.”

Cincinnati is Federer’s most successful ATP Masters 1000 event. He’s made it to the championship match in his past three trips and reached at least the quarter-finals in his past eight appearances. The friendly Midwest atmosphere suits Federer’s relaxed approach and makes him feel at home from the moment he steps on the grounds of the Lindner Family Tennis Center.

“It’s peaceful, quiet and easy-going. We have enough tournaments in big cities, so it’s a nice way for me to start the summer,” said Federer. “You also have these great fans who come here for the game and nothing else. It reminds me of Indian Wells in that sense, so that’s one thing which is cool about this event.”

Although Federer will be focused on his own game, he’ll also have an eye on Andy Murray’s singles comeback this week. The Swiss famously won the 2017 Australian Open in his first event after missing eight months to recover from left knee surgery. Federer admitted to feeling optimistic before his first match that year in Melbourne and believes expectations are often set before even walking out on court.

“You do have a sense of how things will go before your first match,” said Federer. “Are you crushing everybody in the practice sets or losing more often than not? How’s the pain and your movement? It’s obviously not something you can tell other players or the press, but you know if there’s a chance to have a big run or if you’re just happy being back on Tour and maybe winning a match or two.”

More than two years after that run in Melbourne, Federer continues to defy the odds. At an age where almost all of his peers that he started on Tour with have retired, the 37-year-old sits firmly at No. 3 in the ATP Rankings and could climb even higher by the end of the season. He’s not willing to put a timeline on how long he will keep playing, but with a 38-5 record and three ATP Tour titles to his name already this season, there’s little reason to stop.

“I’ve been consistent across all the surfaces. I haven’t had a back issue in two years and was obviously happy with how my knee recovered [in 2016],” said Federer. “I don’t know how long I’m going to be playing, but I’m very happy with my level of play and it shows in the results.”

Monday, July 15, 2019

Roger Federer's thoughts on the 5 set Wimbledon final loss

A Grand Slam final is said to truly sink in the moment all the noise fades – when the adrenaline wears off, the interviews wrap up and that moment of solitude arrives.

Every critical point is played out in the mind again and again. For the champion, the instant they swung the contest in their favour.

For the vanquished opponent, where it all went wrong. Again and again.

For Roger Federer, his fourth defeat from his 12th Wimbledon final will hurt more than most. And two points will be swirling through his mind more than most on Sunday night.

Twice the Swiss held Championship points to clinch a record ninth gentlemen’s singles crown and take his Grand Slam tally to 21. But for a third time in a Wimbledon decider he came up short against a relentless Novak Djokovic.

“Yeah, I mean, one shot I guess,” Federer lamented. “You try to see the positives, you try to take it as a good thing, I guess, that you're not down a break or that the match is not over yet.

“If I could have picked it before the match to be at 9-all in the fifth, that wouldn't be a terrible thing. You just always try to push yourself to see things on the better side. But, yeah, it was definitely tough to have those chances.”

Those chances arose when the No.2 seed served for the Championships at 8-7 in the fifth.

Three tie-breaks played, three lost for Federer on this final Sunday. He had now fallen in nine of his past 11 showdowns with his great Serbian rival. It was the third time he had gone down to him in a Wimbledon final after defeats in 2014 and 2015.

“I don't know if losing 2-2-2 feels better than this one,” Federer pondered. “At the end it actually doesn't matter to some extent. You might feel more disappointed, sad, over-angry.

“I don't know what I feel right now. I just feel like it's such an incredible opportunity missed, I can't believe it.”

This was the longest gentlemen’s final in Wimbledon history, the first to be decided in a 12-all deciding set tie-break. A 7-6(5), 1-6, 7-6(4), 4-6, 13-12(3) triumph secured Djokovic his fifth at the All England Club and brought him within four majors of Federer’s all-time mark.

The Swiss was attempting to become the oldest man to win a Grand Slam singles title in the Open era. Next month, he will turn 38.

He acknowledges time isn’t on his side if he is to indeed add further trophies to his tally. And he accepts the two men nipping at his heels could well pass his mark.

“Well, I mean, it used to be a really, really big deal, you know, I guess when you were close,” Federer said of setting the benchmark. “I guess two behind, then eventually you tie, then eventually you break. That was big.

“It's been different since, naturally because the chase is in a different place. I take motivation from different places, you know. Not so much from trying to stay ahead because I broke the record, and if somebody else does, well, that's great for them. You can't protect everything anyway.

“I didn't become a tennis player for that. I really didn't. It's about trying to win Wimbledon, trying to have good runs here, playing in front of such an amazing crowd in this Centre Court against players like Novak and so forth. That's what I play for.”

Parallels were naturally drawn between this and his five-set, four-hour, 48-minute defeat to Rafael Nadal in the Championships decider in near darkness 11 years ago.

“Like similar to '08 maybe, I will look back at it and think, ‘Well, it's not that bad after all’,” Federer said. “For now it hurts, and it should, like every loss does here at Wimbledon.

“I think it's a mindset. I'm very strong at being able to move on because I don't want to be depressed about actually an amazing tennis match.”

Those moments of solitude will arrive. But the eight-time champion is more experienced than most at taking stock of a harrowing defeat and turning to his next Grand Slam opportunity. At 37, it’s not over yet.

Roger is basically echoing a lot of the points I made in my post a day prior, only with even more positivity than even I would expect him to have. 

When he blew those 2 match points I actually wondered whether it would have been less painful if he had lost in straight sets or 4 sets as well.  

I still don't really have an answer honestly. Although I guess if he had lost in straights then it would have felt like he didn't put up enough of a fight. 

So it's a no win type of situation.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Roger Federer's historic 5 set heart-breaker at Wimbledon

The body language of a man who has given it his all and is left with nothing to show for it

Given that Roger has never beaten Rafa Nadal and Djokovic back to back in a slam I went into this match with low expectations, but because I'm an eternal optimist when it comes to Federer I had a tiny spark of hope.

That hope was dashed the moment Roger lost the first set tie-break knowing it would be an uphill battle against one of the great returners in the sport.

But than things got weird, Djokovic had no energy and seemed to completely tank the 2nd set. Won the 3rd in yet another tie-break, than kind of went away in the fourth.

And I begun to wonder if it was going to be that kind of match. One where neither guy is playing well, and the winner will be whoever just scrapes by.

Throughout it Roger remained the steadier of the 2 players on serve (having twice as many aces as his opponent). He was also returning better and won more total points in the match overall.  And that kept giving me hope as we went into the 5th. The set that turned this match from an ordinary one to something otherworldly.

The final set is when both players picked up their level and stated playing better overall, this after 4 hours of play. When Roger finally broke at 8-7 in the 5th I thought 'Oh My God he's actually gong to defy the odds and beat Novak Djokovic in 5 sets'.

At this point my hands were shaking as I tried to live tweet my reaction, at 8-7 40-15 (2 championship points) I was ready to crawl out of my skin while at the same time trying to not hyperventilate.

The rest of  the (internet) world held it's collective breath. What happened next is something that I'm sure will haunt not only Roger but all his loyal fans for some time. Serving for it in that split second Roger blinked, he had just beaten Nadal in the semis finally solving the puzzle of that rivalry and reversing their H2H over the past few years.

And than the fact that he had never beaten 2 of his greatest rivals in one tournament got into his head and Djokovic leveled it at 8 a piece.

Despite set backs Roger was consistently the better player throughout the match and in that final set.

Until we got to the newly introduced 12-all tie-break.  In that dreaded final set tiebreak is where his great tie-break record for the year just fell apart and he lost his 3rd one in a row and the match with it.

He continued hanging with Djokovic in the last tie-break until the very last ball and that one last shot that proved to be too much.  At the flip of a coin that final set went from exhilarating to a repeat of a nightmare no Federer fan ever wanted to relive. The 2011 U.S. Open Final. Or the 2009 U.S. Open against Del Potro, take your pick.

Just like in those finals, one shot turned everything on it's head, and morphed into a nearly 5 hour tussle that left me feeling emotionally spent. And hating the invention of tiebreaks.

The intensity of that final set  tiebreaker rendered me unable to eat until the last ball was struck.

Honestly the immense stress of this one took about 5 years off my life.

I'm left with a feeling of de ja vu when it comes to gut-wrenching losses like this, but this bares repeating nonetheless. What hurts the most is not knowing how many of these missed chances Roger has left with time not being on his side.

How much longer can he sustain this type of  incredible level, the level required to reach Grand Slams. And perhaps most importantly how much longer will he stay motivated to contend for them.

With all that said while I'm left quoting my fave sci-fi  characters lines of misery (a qoute from Willow Rosenberg from Buffy) in my head and lamenting and agonizing over it. Roger is probably thinking life goes on, and will as always bounce back a lot sooner than it'll take me and all his fans to come to terms with how it all unfolded.

Or maybe I'm being a bit too optimistic again on his behalf, because realistically I know that this one will sting. A lot. There's no doubt about it in my mind.

 He give it his all. Literally. And it all came down to one final hit of the racket, one final ball he was unable to put passed his opponent. Just thinking about it fills me with so much sadness and rage (even as I write this almost 12 hours later).

He will agonize over those 2 match points for some time as will the rest of the tennis world.  But I also know without a shadow of a doubt, he will move past it, because he's done just that countless times in his career.

And I know he'll move on to the American hard courts where he will once again try his hardest to capture another U.S. Open in September.

And we'll all be left revisiting all the same emotions I've been describing all over again. I'm hoping he'll maybe finally have a bit of luck in terms of his draw. The tennis gods have not been kind in that regard when it comes to NYC in recent years.

If there are any positives to take away from it all it's that Roger is walking away uninjured and healthy. That at almost 38 years of age he stood toe to toe with a much younger opponent and matched him physically for almost 5 hours. A feat that has to be commended. And may never again be repeated.

That despite the outcome this display created yet another historic match full of moments that rival Wimbledon 2008, (considered by most as the best in the sport). Thus adding another glorious chapter to his already storied career.

If nothing else this performance solidified why he's continuously considered the greatest of all time, and for me the reason I love watching him play tennis as well as my love for the sport itself.

And while this match will undoubtedly be regarded by all as one no tennis fan will ever forget (as it should). I on the other hand choose to follow what Roger himself  jokingly said in one of his post-match interviews. "I will try to forget".

What I will remember above all however are the words he uttered towards the end, that even at 37 "it's not over yet".

And knowing Roger he means it.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Simona Halep Wimbledon Champion!

Wimbledon Facebook

French Open Facebook

LONDON, Great Britain - Former World No.1 Simona Halep scored her second Grand Slam title at the All England Club on Saturday, stunning 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, 6-2, 6-2 to win Wimbledon.

"It feels good," she said to open her post-championship press conference. "I wanted this badly. When I started the tournament, I talked to the people from the locker room that my dream is to become a member here. So today it's real and I'm really happy."

The 2018 French Open champion was playing her first final at SW19 (and fifth overall), while Williams was aiming for an all-time record-tying 24th major title and eighth at Wimbledon, but it was the No.7 seed who secured victory after just 56 minutes on Centre Court.

"I'm very sure that was the best match of my life, and also on grass against her is never easy. So I'm really proud of my game of today and the whole tournament."

Halep had beaten Williams just once in 10 previous encounters - and the American avenged that 2014 BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global round robin loss that same week, in the final - but all three of their Grand Slam meetings had gone the distance, including a three-set thriller at this year's Australian Open.

"I knew that I have to be aggressive, being 100% for every ball, that I don't have to let her come back to the match because she's so powerful and so strong. She knows how to manage every moment. So I knew that I have to stay there, which I did pretty well today."

It had already been a revenge-filled fortnight for the Romanian, who made the final with tricky wins over the likes of fellow former World No.1 Victoria Azarenka, teen phenom Coco Gauff, and two nemeses in Zhang Shuai and No.8 seed Elina Svitolina, both of whom led their head-to-heads with Halep ahead of their All England Club clashes.

The first set, in turn, saw the former World No.1 play some of her best tennis of the tournament as she raced out to a 4-0 lead behind some sparkling defensive play. Williams soon got her footing as she cranked in some powerful first serves, but Halep was undeterred, serving out the second on her second opportunity.

"I decided this morning how I have to play against her. I knew exactly what I have to do to put her in trouble, not letting her make her game. When she has time, she plays unbelievable.I played many times against her. I knew how the ball is coming. I knew what she doesn't like that much.

"Today I just went for it like in Singapore. I had that image in my head. I really believed there is the chance to do the same thing. I knew I have to stay there every ball. Otherwise, when she comes back, she's very powerful."

Williams began the second set keen to pump herself up, getting on the board early and opening up a 30-30 opportunity on her rival's serve in the very next game.

"I think she was getting so many balls back," Williams noted after the match. "I do have a strategy for players that do get a lot of balls back, which I thought about far too late. I think I was overhitting it, trying to go for too much. She was getting just a tremendous amount of balls back."

Playing to win her second straight major final - and first since capturing that Roland Garros crown last spring - Halep remained focused and kept in front, winning the final four games of the match to ease over the finish line.

"Set and 5-2 when I was serving, after few points during the match, I looked at the scoreboard. I said, 'Okay, it's 5-2, it's real,'" Halep mused. "Then I just played every ball. I didn't think about the score at all.

"I felt my legs that are very soft after I won the last point. I didn't know actually how to react. I just did natural what it came in my inside. It's tough to describe the moment. You just feel,light, you feel everything is beautiful, and you just try to enjoy."

It was a pitch-perfect match for Halep, who struck just three unforced errors in two sets - and 13 winners - and converted four of five break point opportunities while allowing Williams just one break point chance on her own serve.

As for the American, she will rue 26 unforced errors and a 68% first serve percentage that helped the No.7 seed get into return games and keep the seven-time Wimbledon winner off-balance throughout.

Halep improves her Grand Slam final record to 2-3 and looking ahead to next week, she is tentatively set to return to the Top 4 on the WTA rankings, having dropped to No.8 after Roland Garros.

"The finals I lost in the past helped me for sure to be different when I face this moment. It's never easy to face a Grand Slam final. You can get intimidated by the moment. You can get nervous, too nervous.

"I have learned that it's a normal match, not thinking that much about the trophy, just going there and try to be the best as you can. So I did that. I said that every time I would play a final of Grand Slam, I will do exactly the same thing. So today I did it."


Well this Wimbledon just keeps getting better doesn't it?. 

First Roger beats Nadal and now Simona beats Serena in an emphatic fashion.

Don't think anyone saw this coming. I haven't talked about Simona much these past 2 weeks, but she has been mighty impressive throughout.

Seems like I never talk about her enough, I should really start because boy is she a joy to watch.

And what she did today was absolutely fantastic.

She used her biggest weapon her speed against a 23-time Grand Slam Champion who she had a 9-1 H2H with.

After the first set when she won it in about half an hour thanks to some incredible returning and court coverage I really thought her level would dip, or she would get nervous as she got closer to the finish line.

But instead she surprised everyone with her calmness and poise as she served for the Championship.  Today she came out with a plan and executed it to near perfection. 

It was wonderful to see.

It seems like all those heart-breaking losses she's had at Grand Slams helped her to pave the way for performances like this.

One can even go as far as saying maybe they had to happen for her to finally believe in herself. 

The 2018 Roland Garros win has been the catalyst to the new Simona Halep and her fans all over the world could not be happier for her.

Take a bow Simona, now a 2- time Grand Slam Champion you deserve this.