Halep overwhelms Svitolina to enter first Wimbledon final
LONDON – Simona Halep is through to her first Wimbledon final with a 6-1, 6-3 triumph over Ukraine's Elina Svitolina in Thursday's semi-finals.
The 2018 French Open champion broke serve first for 2-0 and despite being broken back in the following game, Halep raced through four straight games to take the first set.
Svitolina, who was appearing in her first major semi-final, conceded the match-winning break in the second set with a wide return at 4-3, and the Romanian Halep rallied towards victory in 72 minutes.
"It's an amazing felling, I'm excited and nervous," Halep told the BBC after reaching her fifth grand slam final.
"This is the best feeling of my life and the score is not as easy as it suggests. I was very strong mentally and psychically. I fight to the end because I want to win every match I play."
Halep's progress to the final means she will rise three places in the world rankings from her current position of seventh to number four.
The 27-year-old Halep will play either 23-time major winner Serena Williams or Czech Barbora Strycova in the final on Saturday.
The first set was initially not easy for Halep as she displayed signs of nervousness with two double faults and was forced to save three break points in the opening game.
But Svitolina was the first to fold as the 24-year-old was out-played in the rallies to fall 2-0 behind.
The 2018 WTA Finals champion from Ukraine did take the fight to Halep with a break back but then Svitolina's frustrations showed and Halep stepped into another gear.
Svitolina kicked the ball into the net after her volley return failed to lose her serve again and trail Halep 3-1.
It was clear that this was new territory for Svitolina as Halep found her feet and overpowered her eighth seeded opponent.
The former world number one sprinted for a cross-court forehand to break again for 5-1 and in a lengthy exchange, Halep finally claimed the opening set after missing five opportunities.
Halep ended another epic rally between the pair to take charge of the match.
In the second set, Svitolina's exit from the tournament was built when a hopeless return sailed wide for Halep to break and then hold serve for 5-3.
The Centre Court crowd were willing Svitolina to show the determination she had in the previous match with Karolina Muchova, when she battled from 5-2 and a break down in her quarter-final success.
This time her attitude was different. Svitolina's energy was negative as a wild forehand volley opened up match points for Halep.
After Halep saw Svitolina's backhand hit the net, she raised her racket in the air and held her head as the realisation took hold that she had returned to the main stage of a major.dpa