There has been no stopping Simona Halep at this year’s Wimbledon as the Romanian produced another eye-catching performance to surge into the semi-finals with a 6-2 6-4 win over American Amanda Anisimova on Wednesday. On the other hand, Elena Rybakina defeated Ajla Tomljanovic 4-6, 6-2. 6-3 to also reach the semi-final, where she will face Halep.

The 2019 champion did not exactly give the fans who had forked out 175 pounds ($208) for a Centre Court ticket value for money as she toppled a shellshocked Anisimova in 63 minutes to reach her third semi-final at the All England Club.

After Halep had wrapped up the first set when Anisimova banged a service return long, the American was left rejecting one racket after another into her red bag as she was broken for the fourth time to trail 4-1 in the second set.

The 30-year-old Halep was broken while serving for the match at 5-1 and Anisimova had her 0-40 down when she tried again at 5-3.

But a few hard-hitting slaps to her thigh at 15-40 down got Halep’s legs moving again and the 16th seed secured victory when Anisimova swiped a backhand long.

Meanwhile, Russian-born Elena Rybakina became the first player representing Kazakhstan to reach a Grand Slam semi-final. The 23-year-old switched nationality in 2018 while this year Russian and Belarusian players are banned from Wimbledon following the invasion of Ukraine.

The first set was close but swung on the third game when, after five deuces Tomljanovic broke before serving strongly to take it 6-4.

Rybakina, 23, broke early in the second and though Tomljanovic’s athletic court coverage enabled her to hit straight back, the tall Kazak then took total command, breaking to love to win the second on the back of 11 straight points.

Rybakina, who took her tournament ace tally into the 40s with another 15, cranked up the pressure in the decider, taking a 3-0 lead after winning seven games in a row, and breaking again for 5-1.

Although her progress was briefly held up, she served out brilliantly and fittingly finished the match with an ace.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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By Dipak

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