Simona Halep made a clear statement that she’s the player to beat in the women’s draw at Wimbledon. The Romanian returned to Centre Court for the first time since her 2019 title and she pounded the world No. 4 6-1, 6-2 in just an hour.
“Actually, I was more nervous yesterday than today,” Halep said to the crowd. “It’s very special to be back I missed a lot, to play in Wimbledon. Three years was a lot … It’s always a pleasure to come back and to have the chance to play on Centre Court.
“It means a lot that I’m back in a quarterfinals after I struggled so much with injuries and self-confidence. … I’m really happy with the way I’m playing. I’m really confident. It’s a pleasure to be on court.”
Halep, who lost just two points on first serve, will now face American youngster Amanda Anismova. The 20-year-old Anismova also had an easy day stopping Harmony Tan 6-2, 6-3 in 74 minutes. Anismova is into her second career Grand Slam quarterfinal.
Behind 26 winners, Elena Rybakina reached her second Slam quarterfinal easing past Petra Martic 7-5, 6-3.
“This year I would say that I didn’t start well,” Rybakina said. “I was not so confident because I didn’t have good preparation. I was injured, got sick in Paris, and I couldn’t recover.
“Maybe also something help me bit. I was more relaxed. I’m still more relaxed, enjoying my time here. Yes, I knew that the preparation is not the greatest. I was not feeling well the other months. I was suffering from the allergies, Covid earlier this year. It just kept on happening some issues.”
The 23-year-old Rybakina will take on Ajla Tomljanovic who returned to the quarterfinals rallying from a set down to defeat Alize Cornet 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
“Today was crazy,” Tomljanovic said afterward. “[Cornet’s] level was really high from the get-go. I think the second point of the first game was so long that I kind of thought to myself, ‘Oh, my God, I don’t know if I’m going to physically be able to keep up with her.’ But I found a way.
“It felt like a coin toss a little bit. I mean, she fights till the end. She wasn’t giving me much. That’s why in the end I was a little bit in disbelief that I actually came through.”
Tomorrow, the quarterfinals get underway with world No. 2 Ons Jabeur taking on Czech 23-year-old Marie Bouzkova. On Court 1, Jule Niemeier and Tatjana Maria meet in one of the most surprising Grand Slam quarterfinals in a long time.
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