Williams obliterated in Wimbledon final
Simona Halep has stunned Serena Williams to claim her maiden Wimbledon title with a 6-2 6-2 demolition of the American that stunned the tennis world.
After taking the opening set in just 26 minutes it appeared Williams was set to make more of a contest of the second but at 2-2 Halep got what would prove the decisive break.
"Simply irresistible - Williams is in real trouble now," Sam Smith said on commentary and co-commentator Tracy Austin agreed.
"She is in the zone, it's like Halep is there before Serena even hits it," Austin said.
Halep then went on to hold and break Williams again before serving the match out in just 56 minutes to claim her second career slam title, to go with her 2018 French Open.
The win makes Halep the first Romanian player to win Wimbledon, eclipsing the great Ilie Nastase, who made the final in London in both 1972 and 1976.
For Williams it was another crushing defeat in a grand slam final, as she again tried in vain to tie Margaret Court's record of 24 major titles.
She has now lost her last three slam finals: the 2018 Wimbledon final to Angelique Kerber, the 2018 US Open final to Naomi Osaka and this Wimbledon decider to Halep.
Williams was never really in the match and admitted to being a "deer in the headlights" in her on court interview post-match.
Williams started the match looking nervous and Halep broke the American in her opening two service games as Williams committed multiple unforced errors.
Halep then rattled through the first set in 26 minutes as commentator Sam Smith opined "this wasn't in the script".
She was right - but it was entertaining and from Halep one of the best displays of tennis of her career.
Asked on court after the match if she had played better, Halep had a resounding answer.
"Never," she said. "It was the best match - I have worked a lot for this moment. I have no words to explain, I feel great."
And so she should, the performance was almost flawless.
Early on Halep would hold for a 4-0 lead in the first set before Williams finally steadied to hold serve at 1-4 - the first set though was gone in the blink of an eye.
The second was just the same and it was bizarre to see one of the greats of the game unable to do anything about the performance of her opponent.
John McEnroe described the Romanian's performance as "unbelievable" before comparing it to his 1984 6-1 6-1 6-2 annihilation of Jimmy Connors in the men's final.
"There's literally five matches or less that you feel like you're in the zone from start to finish and that was one of them," McEnroe said before being asked if it was like his '84 masterpiece.
"It does bring back some memories and it does feel unbelievably good and that's why you won't be able to get that smile off her face for the next month."