Wimbledon: Simona Halep beats Amanda Anisimova to reach semi-finals

Venue: All England Club Dates: 27 June-10 July
Coverage: Live across BBC TV, radio and online with extensive coverage on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, Connected TVs and mobile app.

Former champion Simona Halep’s revival continued as she reached the Wimbledon semi-finals with another rapid win over American Amanda Anisimova.

Romania’s Halep, seeded 16th, considered quitting last year because of injury but the 2019 champion is now one more win from another SW19 final.

Halep, 30, beat 20th seed Anisimova 6-2 6-4 in one hour and three minutes.

The two-time Grand Slam champion will play Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina, who beat Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic.

“It’s great to be back in the semi-finals, I’m very emotional right now,” said Halep, who has won her past 12 matches at Wimbledon.

“I’m playing the best tennis since I won here. I’m building that confidence back and it is good right now.”

Halep’s renewed belief evident in speedy run

Halep, who won her first major title at the 2018 French Open, has breezed through her opening five matches at the All England Club, not dropping a set and spending less than six hours on court.

So far it has been a triumphant return for the former world number one, who has not played at SW19 since beating Serena Williams in the final three years ago.

In 2020, the planned defence of her title was scuppered by the Covid-19 pandemic and when the Championships returned last year, she was ruled out by a calf injury.

The torn muscle sustained at the Italian Open in May 2021 also forced her to miss the French Open and the Tokyo Olympics.

After returning to the WTA Tour this year, Halep still doubted if she could reach the previous heights and admitted earlier this fortnight she felt “down” and “exhausted”.

But linking up with Patrick Mouratoglou, the coach who worked with Serena Williams during 10 of her 23 Grand Slam singles wins, has reignited her belief.

That was evident throughout a confident victory over 20-year-old Anisimova.

A speedy win was stalled when Anisimova, who looked despondent from the early stages and was given sympathetic backing on Centre Court, claimed one of two breaks back for 5-3 in the second set.

After holding serve, the American then had three more break points at 0-40 before mistakes started to creep back into her game.

Halep eventually took care of her service game to reach her first major semi-final since the 2020 Australian Open.

Rybakina finds level to create Kazakh history

Rybakina, seeded 17th, sealed her place in the last four shortly after Halep, fighting back to earn a 4-6 6-2 6-3 over unseeded Tomljanovic.

The 23-year-old became the first player from Kazakhstan – male or female – to reach a singles semi-final at one of the four Grand Slam tournaments.

After an edgy start, Rybakina rediscovered her level in the second set and won 11 of the next 14 games to close in on victory.

Tomljanovic, playing in her second successive Wimbledon quarter-final after beating Britain’s Emma Raducanu in the last 16 last year, claimed one break back in the decider but it proved too little too late.

“I started a bit slow, I didn’t serve that well. Maybe I was nervous,” said Rybakina, who reached the last 16 on her Wimbledon main-draw debut last year.

“She played really well and was defending really good but I just tried to focus on my serve and try to find my way and in the end I found it.”

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