‘I believed in myself’ – Halep books spot in last four after second-set wobble against Anisimova

Simona Halep won against Amanda Anisimova 6-2, 6-4 on Wednesday afternoon and will play Kazakh Elena Rybakina, the No 17 seed, in semi-final.

Simona Halep, Wimbledon 2022 Simona Halep, Wimbledon 2022 © AI / Reuters / Panoramic

Romanian Simona Halep, the No 16 seed, advanced to the last four of Wimbledon by beating American Amanda Anisimova, the No 20 seed, 6-2, 6-4 at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London on Wednesday.

She still hasn’t dropped a set in this tournament and lost only 12 games in her three latest matches against Pole Magdalena Frech (6-4, 6-1), Spaniard Paula Badosa, the No 4 seed (6-1, 6-2) and now Anisimova. The Romanian won against Czech Karolina Muchova (6-3, 6-2) and Belgian Kirsten Flipkens (7-5, 6-4) prior to that.

Anisimova finally put pressure in the second set

Halep is the first player to reach three semi-finals on grass including Wimbledon in a single season since Johanna Konta in 2017, after her performance in Birmingham and Bad Homburg.

It wasn’t as straightforward as the scoreline might suggest, with the American coming back from 5-1 down in the second set to put the pressure on at 5-4. But Halep held her nerve to serve it out.

Halep – Rybakina next

“It’s great to be back in the semi-finals,” she said afterwards. “I’m very emotional right now, it means a lot to be back in the semis.”

It is Halep’s ninth major semi-final, and her first since the Australian Open in 2020.

“I played a tough opponent today. She could crush the ball in the end, and I didn’t know what to do. I just believed in myself.”

Halep, ranked No 18, will play Kazakh Elena Rybakina, the No 17 seed, next. Rybakina beat Ajla Tomljanovic almost simultaneously on Wednesday at Wimbledon.

Anisimova won’t play her second Grand Slam semi-final after Roland-Garros in 2019 – she had beaten Halep in Paris in their first career meeting. Earlier in the tournament, the American, ranked No 25, defeated Chinese Yue Yuan (6-3, 6-4), Lauren Davis (2-6, 6-3, 6-4), No 11 seed Coco Gauff (6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-1) and Frenchwoman Harmony Tan (6-2, 6-3).

“I think my arm was just nonexistent today” said Anisimova. “I just couldn’t feel it. I was just missing such easy returns. I think that I was quite stressed in this match. I just felt very stiff and frozen. I got very emotional in the chair because I wasn’t performing very well. I don’t really like playing not to the fullest of my abilities, especially in such a packed stadium. It’s very disappointing for me”.

Simona Halep
Romania’s Simona Halep celebrates winning her fourth round match against Spain’s Paula Badosa (AI/Reuters/Panoramic)

Wimbledon, the other women’s quarter-finals :

  • Ajla Tomljanovic vs. Elena Rybakina: 4-6, 6-2, 6-3
  • Ons Jabeur (3) beat Marie Bouzkova: 3-6, 6-1, 6-1
  • Tatjana Maria beat Jule Niemeier: 4-6, 6-2, 7-5

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