SIMONA Halep last night revealed the true secret behind Saturday’s remarkable triumph against Serena Williams in the Wimbledon ladies’ singles final. His name is Tom and he is a Welshman.

Top female players often enlist a male hitting partner to fine tune their game on the practice courts of Aaorangi Park and in the form of Tom Thelwall-Jones, a 19-year-old currently on a tennis scholarship at the University of Tulsa out in Oklahoma, the Romanian hit on her lucky charm. Having attended both her semi-final and final, no wonder she was pondering last night whether to give him a ring back for the US Open at the end of August.

“It was the tournament who put us in touch,” she added. “At the practice desk, they recommended him, I liked him and I kept him. If I feel good with the person and relaxed on court, I try to hit with the same person every day. But that is not something that happens all of the time.

“It is not important to have the same player, and often will change. But once I like somebody, I try to to keep them.It was my team who kept in contact with him – if when I come back next year I have a chance to hit with him again, maybe I will call him. Perhaps I should take him to the US Open?”

Halep went off into the night dreaming of treating herself to some fast food in recognition of her achievement. “McDonald’s? It’s a good idea – I can’t remember the last time I had one,” she said. “But I love pizza and I eat it all the time, even if it not great for me. I eat everything – even chocolate, every day!”

After a near flawless performance on the biggest stage in tennis, the world seems to be Halep’s oyster. What is next on her to-do list? Well, this patriot would covet an Olympic gold medal from Tokyo next year.

“An Olympic medal - I said that at the beginning of the year and I still keep it,” said Halep. ”I want to win any medal in the Olympics to fulfil everything I have done in tennis. It is a chance to play for my country and I have always loved to do that – all the Fed Cup matches. The disappointment from this year really hurt me so to play to well to get a medal, it would be a dream.

Halep maintains a productive relationship with Darren Cahill, the widely admired Australian coach, even though he has essentially walked out on her twice. There was a brief break after Miami in 2017, apparently to teach her a lesson about giving up too easily following a match against Jo Konta, then he took all of 2019 off to spend more time with his family.

“I accepted that I needed help in that direction,” said Konta of the first brief hiatus. “I was too negative. I could not see the things I was doing great, just the things I was just doing badly. Once you start thinking like that, you start to go further down mentally.

“Then I felt a bit lost when he told me we were going to split but I was also confident,” she added. “I knew if I put into practice what he had told me during the three or four years when we were together, I had a better chance to be good on court.

“We split but we are still talking and he is my friend who is by my side all the time. He came to watch the matches, so he still gives me advice – but friendly advice. Let’s hope this result will bring him back. He said in Australia he might be ready to come back in May time? Well, he didn’t. He was not ready.”

While the result left Serena Williams waiting for that 24th Grand Slam win which would equal Margaret Court at the top of the all-time lists, it was a testament to Halep that she simply constructed her own narrative with her as the day’s main protagonist.

“I never thought about stopping her doing something big, I just focused on myself,” she said. “I just wanted to play my match and win my first Wimbledon, nothing else.”