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Wimbledon finalist Simona Halep makes mum’s dream come true, Serena Wiliams, Elina Svitolina, tennis news

Jubilant Simona Halep has fulfilled her mother’s dream in reaching her maiden Wimbledon title decider – five years after an ankle injury crushed her hopes in the semi-finals.

The resurgent former world No.1 ended Elina Svitolina’s historic run with a commanding 6-1 6-3 victory over Ukraine’s first-ever grand slam women’s semi-finalist on Thursday.

Chasing a second major after finally breaking through at last year’s French Open, Halep will play seven-times champion Serena Williams in Saturday’s championship decider.

But win or lose, Halep is already overjoyed.

“It’s an amazing feeling. I’m very excited and nervous to be in the final. It’s one of the best moments of my life,” the seventh seed said.

“I’m playing to enjoy it as much as possible and also to play through to the final.

“It was not as easy as the score shows. She’s an amazing player and always a difficult opponent.

“I fought feally hard to win the match. I think I played the right tactics – I was very strong mentally and physically.”

Halep makes history at Wimbledon

It will be Halep’s fifth grand slam final and comes just over a year after her emotion-charged Roland Garros triumph.

The 27-year-old has done her mother Tania particularly proud.

“I talked to my mum after the match. About 10, 15 years ago she said her dream is (for Halep) to play the final in Wimbledon because everyone is here, the Royal Box,” the Romanian said.

“So today her dream came true. I will play a final. It’s very special this moment. To be able to play Wimbledon final, it’s pretty amazing. I will enjoy for sure.”

A loser of her first three grand slam finals, Halep had carried a reputation as temperamental and not strong enough in the mind to win tennis’s biggest prizes.

But she’s now playing with a new-found freedom following her watershed win in Paris.

“I’m not giving up,” Halep said.

“I’m trying to be my best version of myself and I fight to win until the very last point because I want to win every match.”

Halep rates her chance against Serena

Halep has lost nine of her 10 meetings with Williams but is undaunted by the challenge of facing the 23-times major winner in what will be the American’s 11th final at the All England Club.

Halep is taking heart from her three-set fourth-round near miss against Williams at the Australian Open, which remains one of matches of the year.

“I played many matches against her. Many of them were very close.

“Now, if I face her, I will believe that I have my chance to win,” the underdog said.

“Of course, I respect a lot what she has done and what she’s doing. But now I feel stronger mentally facing her.”

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Vianine

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