Simona Halep has delivered a heartfelt tribute to Australian super-coach Darren Cahill after producing one of the most devastating displays in Wimbledon finals history.
Committing just three unforced errors in the entire match, Halep's focus never waned for a second during her crushing 6-2 6-2 win over a shellshocked Serena Williams on Saturday.
The steely performance was a far cry from the temperamental under-achiever who lost her first three grand slam finals before finally breaking through at last year's French Open following a life-changing intervention from Cahill.
Cahill, who had previously guided Lleyton Hewitt and Andre Agassi to the world No.1 men's ranking, quit as Halep's coach after issuing the Romanian an extraordinary on-court ultimatum in Miami in 2017.
Cahill's public pep talk - which was broadcast on TV - after his petulant charge threw away a set against Johanna Konta left Halep feeling "ashamed" and sparked her dramatic career revival.
After reuniting with Halep following their two-month split, Halep landed her maiden slam just weeks later in Paris to claim the top ranking for the first time.
Having since returned home to Australia for family reasons following more than a decade coaching in the US, Cahill is no longer officially on Halep's books but has been a key mentor to the 27-year-old throughout her triumphant Wimbledon campaign.
No longer emotionally fragile on court, Halep the fighter singled out Cahill for special praise after stunning Williams in less than an hour.
"Darren, of course, a very special person," Halep told the Centre Court crowd after being presented with the Venus Rosewater Dish and the champion's cheque for 2.35 million pounds (AU$4.21 million).
"He came to support me and I have no words to thank you and because of you I have learnt how to be a better person on court.
"So thank you very much."
Cahill missed out on a congratulatory hug because he was commentating the men’s doubles final, which went to five sets over five hours.
But he was allowed a quick comment on Halep’s victory.
“She did incredible. Just one of those matches where I think everything came together,” he said during ESPN’s coverage of the doubles epic.
Now coached by fellow Romanian Daniel Dobre, Halep said winning tennis's greatest prize was a whole team effort.
"I have good people around me. I really thank them," she said.
"Daniel is very emotional. I like that. He's a good person. We talked after the match just a little bit, not tennis.
"He said that it was unbelievable how I could win this match. Of course, Darren is part of this. I talk with him all the time.
"He came to see my match again today. His heart is with us. Made me a little bit stronger today, honestly, to be able to believe that I have the chance to win."