Seventh seed Simona Halep is through to the semi-finals at Wimbledon for the first time since 2014 after a 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 victory over China’s Zhang Shuai. Halep, 27, the highest seed left in the womens’ singles, had to fight back from 4-1 down to take a thrilling first set. The Romanian former world number one then raced away with the second to triumph in 86 minutes.
She will play Elina Svitolina or Karolina Muchova on Thursday for a place in Saturday’s final.
Shuai, who had never won a match at Wimbledon in five previous visits, had four break-points to take a 5-1 first-set lead but Halep dug in and was able to recover. Halep who beat 15-year-old Coco Gauff on Monday took control early in the second set, breaking twice in quick succession as Shuai’s game collapsed.
I fought hard in the first set, even though I was down 4-1, Halep told media. I knew she was going to hit with a lot of power, but I knew today I had to be as strong as possible. I have energy. I feel fresh. I feel confident when I step on the court. I play my best tennis on grass courts.