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“Nobody’s going to touch the level that she touched” – Halep on Serena Williams
Halep had beaten Williams only twice out of 12 encounters, one of the coming in the 2019 Wimbledon final
One of Simona Halep’s biggest career moments came at the 2019 Wimbledon Championships against Serena Williams. The Romanian defeated Williams in straight sets that day to lift her second Grand Slam singles title – one of two wins she had over the American legend in 12 career matches.
That match was also one of the four times that Serena Williams lost in a Grand Slam final and was denied the chance to equal the all-time Grand Slam singles record of 24 Slams.
The Romanian, who is now coached by Serena’s former long-time coach Patrick Mouratoglou, was asked about her reaction to Williams’ retirement in Toronto where she is competing at the National Bank Open. Halep said she believed that no one is going to touch the heights that Williams reached in her incredible career.
“It was an honor, actually, to play so many matches against her and to share the locker room with her, to share the court. It’s always she’s been an inspiration for everybody and for me too. I said this always. I admired her, you know, the power to stay there so many years, to win so much. And she’s 40 and she’s still like fighting for the match. It’s unbelievable,” the Romanian said.
Halep, who at 30 is a decade younger than Williams, said the American is going to be missed. “We’re going to miss her, but I think she has many other things, important things in life to go through. So I think it’s time to, yeah, it’s time to stop tennis because she has a life ahead. And she’s done unbelievable things in tennis and is going to be the best for all, like forever, I think. Nobody’s going to touch the level that she touched.”
“I always was trying to take some things from her” – Halep on Serena Williams
Halep added that she admired the super professional attitude of Williams and was always trying to learn from her more experience rival.
“Every time I played her it was a moment that I had to learn some things. And I always was trying to take some things from her. She’s super professional, super like confident on the court. Super dominant. I think she has so many qualities as a player. And I remember 2013 when I played against her in semis in Rome. She killed me. But that year she didn’t lose a match on clay. So she was the only one who dominated tennis few years in a row. And I think that that’s not going to happen again.”
Halep is through to the semi-finals of this week’s National Bank Open in Toronto, where she defeated American teen Coco Gauff on Friday in the quarter-finals.