Simona Halep is living up to her status as the only former Grand Slam champion left in this year’s women’s draw.
The Romanian beat fourth-seeded Paula Badosa 6-1, 6-2 on Centre Court on Monday to return to the Wimbledon quarterfinals and extend her winning streak at the All England Club to 11 matches.
Halep will next face 20th-ranked American Amanda Anisimova, who ended Harmony Tan’s time at Wimbledon with a 6-2, 6-3 victory. The 115th-ranked Tan, from France, had become one of the toasts of the tournament after a remarkable run that included ousting seven-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams in the first round.
It is Anisimova’s first Grand Slam quarterfinal since the semis at the French Open in 2019, when she also beat Tan along the way. Anisimova, 20, lost in the first round of Wimbledon last year.
The 16th-seeded Halep won the title in 2019 but missed last year’s edition with a left calf injury, while the 2020 tournament was canceled because of the pandemic. This was, however, Halep’s first win over a top-five ranked player on grass.
“I worked really hard in the past two, three months. I’m really happy with all that I’ve done,” Halep said. “I got the confidence. I really feel this is my game. I’m pushing myself to do it as much as possible. I want to improve still.”
The former No. 1, who also won the French Open in 2018, has yet to drop a set in this year’s tournament and consistently got the better of Badosa in the baseline rallies. She finished with only nine unforced errors and saved the only break point she faced.
“I was just missing,” Badosa said. “Some days it goes in the line. And some days, like today, all of them go out.”
Badosa’s loss means No. 3 Ons Jabeur is the only top-10 seed left in the women’s tournament.
Halep, 30, has said the injury made her consider retirement. There doesn’t seem to be any thought of that now.
“It means a lot that I’m back in a quarterfinals after I struggled so much with injuries and self-confidence,” Halep said. “But, as I said, I’m working hard every day. I feel like if I do that, I will get better. Actually I’m really happy with the way I’m playing. I’m really confident. It’s a pleasure to be on court.”
Ajla Tomljanovic, meanwhile, came from a set down to beat Alize Cornet and reach her second straight Wimbledon quarterfinal. The Australian won 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 on No. 2 Court to set up a meeting with Elena Rybakina, and was in tears after a grueling match that lasted 2 hours, 35 minutes.
“I didn’t really think I could do it,” said Tomljanovic, who lost to eventual champion Ash Barty in last year’s quarterfinals. “I can’t believe a year later I’m in the same position.”
Cornet, 32, ended No. 1 Iga Swiatek’s 37-match winning streak in the previous round. The French veteran was playing in her 62nd straight Grand Slam tournament — equaling the WTA record held by Ai Sugiyama — and 65th overall, but only reached her first major quarterfinal at the Australian Open this year.
Rybakina reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals for the first time after beating Petra Martic 7-5, 6-3.
The 17th-seeded Rybakina broke in the final game of the first set and then again for a 4-2 lead in the second. She finished with 26 winners to 13 for her opponent.
Rybakina reached the French Open quarterfinals last year, when she made the fourth round at Wimbledon in her first appearance at the All England Club.
Martic was playing Wimbledon for the 10th time but has never been past the fourth round.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism