Simona Halep created history as she became the first player from Romania to win a singles title, clinching victory in the women’s final at Wimbledon 2019. And it became all the more special as the 27-year-old stunned crowd favourite Serena Williams 6-2, 6-2 in just 55 minutes.
But it wasn’t her nearly flawless performance that stole the show on Saturday afternoon defeating the 23rd Grand Slam title winner. It was her candid speech after the presentation ceremony that won hearts online.
“Have you ever played a better match than that?”
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 13, 2019
When asked if she has ever played a match better than the final on Centre Court, Halep replied, “Never. It was the best match, and Serena always inspires us, so thank you for that. I have worked a lot for this moment. It’s an honour to play in front of the royal box. Thank you. I have no words to explain, but I feel great.”
She admitted that she was nervous before the match but she delivered her best. “Well, I had nerves. My stomach was not very well before coming out here for the match. But there was no time for emotions. I just came on court and gave my best.”
Asked how does it feel to clinch the prestigious Wimbledon title, Halep said, “Unbelievable. And it’s something very special. I will never forget this day because it was my mum’s dream. When I was about 10 or 12, she said that if I want to do something in tennis, I have to play the final of Wimbledon.”
During the on-court interview, the Romanian also mentioned that getting a lifetime membership was one of her motivations to win the tournament.
“At the start of the tournament, I told the people in the locker room that if I win this tournament, it would be amazing because I would get a membership for life. So, here I am. It was one of my motivations before the tournament, so now I’m happy.”
Saying that it was her mom’s dream to see her play in the finals of Wimbledon, Halep expressed her gratitude towards family and friends and said that her parents supported her ‘since she was born.’
“To my parents to my family, thank you very much for the support. Without you, I couldn’t have been here. Because they’ve supported me since I was born. Thank you for that,” said Halep.
People online loved her humbleness and candour, saying it’s a true sign of a winner.
“Before this tournament I feel, if I win, I will get membership (Wimbledon) for life time..” what a honest confession & down to earth approach by this young lady @Simona_Halep #Wimbledon https://t.co/TUZ9YvFWTq
— Eɳɠιɳҽҽɾ Aɾʝυɳ Rҽԃԃყ (@fake_engineer_) July 14, 2019
What a humbleness !!! No exaggeration. No cinematic expression…
Loved it. https://t.co/DtaTGakE8S
— Karthik (@kkronline) July 14, 2019
Candid, disarming. But there’s also a quiet yet fierce pride. https://t.co/v6L8U18nON
— Rajkrishnan Menon (@RajkrisMenon) July 14, 2019
Not sure if Simona played it better in the match or in this post-match interview…just awesome 🙌. Congrats on the membership for life 🎾🎾🎾!! https://t.co/LXa05ULcS6
— Alex Whittam (@WhittamCA) July 14, 2019
— Himanshu Punj 🇮🇳 (हिंदुस्तानी) (@himanshupunj23) July 14, 2019
Perfect speech, just like the match https://t.co/KYOcwV8uSF
— Anne Sinuraya (@AnneRisalona) July 14, 2019
Not so difficult to make out the contribution of humility in making of a winner. https://t.co/dxmqfFSLMq
— Manish Thacker (@manish647) July 14, 2019
— Irina (@Irinna283) July 13, 2019
Wonderful champion with a humble, grateful, humorous speech. I loved how she thanked Darren Cahill. Most winners never pay tributes to their ex-coaches.
— felipenopollous (@felipenopollous) July 13, 2019
Sometimes… the humble, sincere & down-to-earth earn more recognition & admiration than hype, brash & arrogance…🙏 Incredible and so well-deserved Simona, the 2019 .@Wimbledon Champion 🏆😍👏🙌🎉
— Jenica Badaluta (@JenicaBadaluta) July 13, 2019
— jozef schumman (@jschumman) July 13, 2019
Halep also couldn’t stop gushing about playing before the royal family, and before the match had revealed that Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, was her favourite.
“It’s an honour to play in front of the royal box,” she said, before learning that as the winner of the match-up, she would get a chance to meet Kate and Meghan, who both were in attendance for the final. “That’s amazing. I didn’t know that. So it’s even more special now,” she said brimming as the two royal members were seen applauding her.