Halep held to love to finish the match, and when Williams’s final shot fell into the net, Halep fell to her knees in joy.
She is the first Romanian woman to win Wimbledon.
As she accepted the runner-up plate for a second year in a row, Williams said that Halep played “out of her mind” in the dominant victory.
The BBC’s Sue Barker asked Halep, “Have you ever played a better match?”
“Never,” Halep replied.
Halep said she had jitters before the match, but was quickly able to quell them.
“There is no time for emotions,” she said. “I came on court and gave my best.”
SECOND Set | HALEP 5, WILLIAMS 2
Halep is in complete command.
Halep leads, 6-2, 5-2 after 53 minutes, holding a double break advantage and just one game from the win.
Williams finally hit her first ace of the match down, 0-30, in the seventh game, and another service winner later. But it was not enough. Whether it was nerves or underestimating Halep’s world-class defense, Williams has kept Halep in too many rallies, often opting more for placement than power, to her detriment.
SECOND Set | HALEP 3, WILLIAMS 2
Halep is tightening her grip on this final.
Halep now leads Williams 6-2, 3-2 — up a set and a break.
Frequently in this match, Williams has looked indecisive and uncharacteristically full of doubt when in a leading position in a point, including guiding an overhead smash softly back within Halep’s reach as the fifth game of the second set slipped away from her.
On break point, Williams chased down a short ball from Halep and had a fairly simple backhand to finish off the point, but guided it long.