Tennis news
into your inbox

Thousand have already subscribed


‘If I want to open Wimbledon, I need to win it again’: Halep’s big goal ahead of facing Rybakina in semi-final

Elena Rybakina will play Simona Halep, the No 16 seed, on Thursday for a place in the Wimbledon final

Simona Halep Romania’s Simona Halep celebrates winning her quarter final match against Amanda Anisimova of the U.S. (AI/Reuters/Panoramic)

She missed out on opening play at Wimbledon in 2020 due to the pandemic-enforced cancellation, and then injury stopped her from doing it in 2021. World No 1 Iga Swiatek was given the honour this year in the absence of Ash Barty – and Simona Halep would like to finally get her chance in 2023.

“The only chance that I can open this tournament is to win again,” she said after beating Amanda Anisimova 6-2, 6-4 to reach the final four. “I’m in the semis, but I’m still far. So I will take tomorrow as a new challenge, big challenge, and I will give my best. If there is a chance to win this tournament, I will take it. I will work hard to take it.”

She faces Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina, the No 17 seed, in the semi-final. She beat Australian Ajla Tomljanovic 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 to move into the last four of a Grand Slam for the first time.

Elena RYbakina
Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina in action during her quarter final match against Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic (AI/Reuters/Panoramic)

So far this tournament, Rybakina has also defeated American lucky loser Coco Vandeweghe (7-6 (2), 7-5), Canadian Bianca Andreescu (6-4, 7-6 (5)), Chinese Qinwen Zheng (7-6 (4), 7-5) and Croat Petra Martic (7-5, 6-3)

She has also served 44 aces, and Halep knows returning that will be a real test for her.

“I know she’s a big hitter, I played against her few times,” said the 30-year-old. “I’m sure that she has a lot of confidence being in semis now here in Wimbledon.

“But it’s a new match, new challenge. I’m ready for it and I will try to give everything to take my chance.”

For her part, Rybakina reflected on her next opponent: “She’s a great champion. She’s moving really well, reading the game. I just try to do my best, focus on things which I can control: my serve, my shots, emotions.

“[You get] quite nervous if you up, down. No matter what’s happening, just to stay calm, keep playing point by point.”

Your comments

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.