Simona Help was the favourite to win the tournament, but on Thursday afternoon, she failed to give her best tennis against an inspired Elena Rybakina at Wimbledon. Halep suffered straight sets, with the match ending at 6-3 6-3.
It was Rybakina who came out with an outstanding performance on Centre Court, at a level that Help could not match. The Romanian was defeated in just one hour and 15 minutes.
Help, the two-time Grand Slam singles champion, was regarded as a clear favourite to clinch it for the second time at the All England Club after she won the tournament back in 2019. So it was definitely an immensely disappointing showing on the biggest stage from her.
Rybakina, however, could not hold her delight about her victory.
“I can’t believe what I’ve just done! Simona is a great champion and we‘ve had many tough matches before. I was focused today and I’m happy with my performance because I played really solidly,” she said in her on-court interview.
“I was nervous, of course, but the matches before helped me. I had two matches on Court 1 and this was my first on Centre. The atmosphere helped me a lot, and when the full crowd was cheering for us, I had goosebumps. I’m really happy that I managed to win.
“I played really well. Usually I have ups and downs, from nerves, but today I was mentally prepared and did everything I could. I think the final is going to be a great match.”
“She’s a really good, tricky player. It’s not going to be easy… with her drop shots, net approaches, volleys… I’ll try to do my best and enjoy the experience on court.”
Rybakina is now set to face Ons Jabeur in what is promising to be an interesting final on Saturday afternoon. Earlier, Ons Jabeur defeated her good friend Tatjana Maria.