|place: all england dates: Jun 27 – Jul 10
|coverage: Live BBC TV, Radio and Online with extensive coverage on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, Connected TVs and mobile app.
Former champion Simona Halep’s return to the Wimbledon semi-finals continued with another quick win over American Amanda Anisimova.
Romania’s 16th seed Halep contemplated withdrawing last year due to injury but the 2019 champion has now claimed another win from another SW19 final.
Halep, 30, defeated 20th seed Anisimova 6-2 6-4 in one hour and three minutes.
Two-time Grand Slam champion will be played by Kazakh Elena Rybakina, who defeated Australia’s Agla Tomljanovic.
“It’s great to be back in the semi-finals, I’m very touched 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’s good now.”
Halep’s renewed faith is evident in sprinting
Halep, who won her first major title at the 2018 French Open, had fun during her opening five matches at the All England Club, never dropping a set and spending less than six hours on the court.
So far it has been a triumphant return for the former world number one, who has not played in SW19 since defeating Serena Williams in the final three years ago.
In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic halted a planned defense of her title, and when the tournament returned last year, she was disqualified due to a calf injury.
A torn muscle she sustained at the Italian Open in May 2021 also forced her to miss the French Open and the Tokyo Olympics.
Returning to the WTA Tour this year, Halep remains skeptical that she can reach the former heights and admitted earlier this week that she felt “frustrated” and “exhausted.”
But the association with Patrick Moratoglu, the coach who worked with Serena Williams through 10 of 23 Grand Slam wins, has reignited her faith.
This was evident during a confident victory over the 20-year-old Anisimova.
A quick win was halted when Anisimova, looking desperate from the early stages and winning sympathetic support on center court, broke one of two games back with a score of 5-3 in the second set.
After maintaining serve, the American earned three break points at 0-40 before errors began to creep back into her game.
Halep eventually took care of her service game to reach her main semi-finals since the 2020 Australian Open.
Rybakina finds level in the creation of Kazakh history
Rybakina, seeded 17, wrapped up her place in the quarter-finals shortly after Halep, returning to win 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 over unseeded Tomljanovic.
The 23-year-old became the first player from Kazakhstan – male or female – to reach the singles semi-finals at one of four Grand Slam tournaments.
After an exciting start, Rybakina rediscovered her form in the second set and won 11 of the next 14 matches to come close to winning.
Tomljanovic, who played in the quarter-finals for the second consecutive time at Wimbledon after beating Britain’s Emma Raducano in the last 16 last year, scored a single break in the decider, but it was not too late.
“I started a little slow, I didn’t serve well. Maybe I was nervous,” said Rybakina, who reached the last 16 in her first Wimbledon draw last year.
“She played really well and defended really well, but I just tried to focus on my serve and try to find my way and in the end I found it.”