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Simona Halep’s show of power and belief helps her realise Wimbledon dream | Sean Ingle

The Romanian’s work on her mentality as well as groundstrokes paid dividends as she dismantled Serena Williams

It took 56 minutes into the biggest match of Simona Halep’s career for her legs to go finally wobbly. But at that point her opponent, Serena Williams, was shuffling towards the net, head bowed and hand outstretched. And Centre Court was rising and roaring to salute a performance of staggering intensity.

Watching on it seemed impossible that when Halep was a young child in Romania she used to cry before going onto court because she was so shy. Yet on the game’s biggest stage the tiny introvert was transformed into a lion with ice in her veins, producing a near-faultless display to dismantle the greatest women’s player in history.

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