Williams’s 6-0, 6-2 loss equals worst of her career

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Williams’s 6-0, 6-2 loss equals worst of her career

Serena Williams was routed 6-0, 6-2 by Simona Halep at the WTA Finals on Wednesday in one of the most one-sided losses of the 18-time Grand Slam champion’s career.

The last time Williams managed to win just two games in a WTA Tour or Grand Slam match was in 1998 when she was 16.

“Embarrassing describes the way I played today,’’ Williams said. “Very embarrassing.’’

The loss in the round-robin match snapped Williams’s 16-match winning streak at the year-end championships, where she is the two-time defending champion.

“My forehand was off today,’’ Williams said. “It’s obviously gone on an early vacation. My serve was at best at the 10-and-under division of juniors.’’

The fourth-ranked Halep had never beaten a player ranked in the top three. In her previous two matches against Williams, both last year, the Romanian won seven games.

For a player who was ranked No. 47 two years ago, Wednesday’s win over No. 1 Williams represented a career high.

“It was my best match of my life,’’ Halep said. “I played unbelievable shots. It means a lot, this match. At an important time I played really well, and after today my confidence will be higher.’’

Halep, runner-up at this year’s French Open, beat Eugenie Bouchard in her opening match and moves to 2-0 in the Red Group. Williams slips to 1-1 and will face Bouchard next.

Ana Ivanovic beat Bouchard in Wednesday’s other game, winning 6-1, 6-3. Ivanovic is 1-1 and Bouchard fell to 0-2. Going into the last round-robin matches, Halep is all but certain of a semifinal berth, needing to win just one game against Ivanovic, while Bouchard has only a slim mathematical chance of advancing.

Williams’s defeat jeopardized her chances of finishing the year as the top-ranked player. Had she won Wednesday, the only way she could have lost the No. 1 spot is if Maria Sharapova won the title.AP

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