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Nerves and knee problem not a factor in Halep hammering, insists Serena

A heavy defeat to Simona Halep in the Wimbledon final was not down to tension or fitness issues, insisted Serena Williams.

Serena Williams insisted neither nerves or injury played a part in her Wimbledon final thrashing at the hands of Simona Halep.

The Romanian lifted her maiden title at the All England Club with a 6-2 6-2 hammering of the seven-time champion in less than an hour on Centre Court.

Williams was aiming to equal Margaret Court’s record tally of 24 grand slam singles triumphs but, for a third time in a row in major finals, she came up short.

Her cause was not helped by 26 unforced errors – dwarfing Halep’s count of just three – but Williams, who was hampered by a troublesome knee issue earlier this season, was still able to look back positively on her campaign.

“I don’t think there was too much tension,” Williams said in her media conference, later adding: “I can’t say I blame injury.

“I wasn’t injured when the tournament started. That really is a positive for me.

“So I just think that I just have to just keep going, keep trying, keep working, maybe be able to play some tournaments uninjured, like I did with this one. Just keep moving forward.”

Asked if she feels more nervous as she enters the latter stages of her career, Williams replied: “In my 20s, I’m always expected to win, but it’s a different circumstance for me.

“It seems like every grand slam final I’m in recently has been an unbelievable effort to get there. It would be interesting to see how it would be under different circumstances.

“I can’t say that I have a lot of tension or [am] super tense. The only thing I can say is today I think my opponent played unbelievable.”

With the final major of the year, the US Open, to start in late August, Williams is keen to manage her schedule and avoid fatigue.

“Well, I’m entered in Toronto and Cincinnati,” she said. “I don’t think I need to play San Jose in addition to that. I think there’s a limit. I think if I overdo it, then that could also be a problem. Especially on the hard courts.

“I’ve been on the softer surfaces, so to say. It would be interesting to see how my knee is on the hard court. I definitely don’t want to do three tournaments before a grand slam. I think it will be fine.”

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