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Simona Halep beat Amanda Anisimova 6-2 6-4 on Centre Court to reach the last four...

Simona Halep beat Amanda Anisimova 6-2 6-4 on Centre Court to reach the last four at the All England Club; Halep is playing at Wimbledon for the first time since winning the tournament in 2019; she faces No 17 seed Elena Rybakina in last four, after the Kazakh beat Ajla Tomljanovic

Last Updated: 06/07/22 3:39pm

Simona Halep is through to the last four at Wimbledon

Simona Halep is through to the last four at Wimbledon

Simona Halep continued her flawless return to Wimbledon by thrashing Amanda Anisimova to reach the semi-finals.

Halep, who is playing at the All England Club for the first time since triumphing in 2019, romped to a 6-2 6-4 victory over the 20th seeded American to set up a last-four meeting with Elena Rybakina, who came from behind to beat Ajla Tomljanovic.

The two-time Grand Slam champion looked set to inflict an even heavier defeat over Anisimova on Centre Court, before a late rally from the 20-year-old almost saw her come back from 5-1 down in the second set.

“It’s great to be back in the semi-finals,” Halep said on court after her victory. “I’m very emotional right now. It means a lot. I played a tough opponent today – she could crunch the ball in the end.”

Amanda Anisimova cut a frustrated figure for much of her defeat

Amanda Anisimova cut a frustrated figure for much of her defeat

Halep was unable to defend her title when the tournament was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, and missed out last year with a calf injury, but the 30-year-old Romanian has picked up right where she left off three years ago, advancing to the last four without dropping a set.

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It’s the first time Halep, who is seeded 16th, has reached a Grand Slam semi-final since the 2020 Australian Open, and she remains the only major winner in the women’s draw, with Ons Jabeur and Tatjana Maria set to contest the other last-four tie.

Match Statistics

Simona Halep Amanda Anisimova
3 Aces
1 Double faults 1
59% First serve in % 73%
63% Win % on first serve 61%
77% Win % on second serve 38%
4/7 Net points won 4/4
4/6 Break points won 1/8
11 Winners 13
6 Unforced errors 28
59 Total points won 44

“Definitely this is my best tennis,” Halep added.

“I struggled a lot last year and now I am just trying to build my confidence back, tennis is here, so I just have to believe. I started to do that and it feels good.”

Halep is playing at Wimbledon for the first time since winning the tournament in 2019

Halep is playing at Wimbledon for the first time since winning the tournament in 2019

Rybakina comes from behind to reach first Grand Slam semi

Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina will face Halep in the semi-finals after coming from behind to beat Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic 4-6 6-2 6-3.

There was plenty of tension on No 1 Court, with Rybakina and Tomljanovic both looking to reach a Grand Slam semi-final for the first time.

Elena Rybakina is the first player from Kazakhstan to reach a Grand Slam semi-final

Elena Rybakina is the first player from Kazakhstan to reach a Grand Slam semi-final

It was the 23-year-old Kazakh who appeared to struggle more with the pressure early on, while Tomljanovic, who beat Britain’s Emma Raducanu in the fourth round last year, settled quickly to take the opening set.

However, Rybakina found her rhythm early in the second set, winning seven successive games to take command of the match.

Tomljanovic gamely pushed her opponent in the closing stages, but Rybakina’s brilliant serving proved too much for the Australian to overcome.

Match Statistics

Ajla Tomljanovic Elena Rybakina
1 Aces 15
1 Double faults 1
64% First serve in % 62%
57% Win % on first serve 76%
48% Win % on second serve 52%
5/9 Net points won 15/23
3/9 Break points won 5/9
14 Winners 34
21 Unforced errors 28
70 Total points won 91

“It is amazing,” Rybakina said after becoming the first Kazakh player to reach the last four at a major. “I am really happy to be into the semi-final. It was a really tough match.

“I started a bit slow, I didn’t serve that well. Maybe I was nervous. 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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