WTA

Wimbledon: Halep halts Anisimova to reach semis on grass again

By Sports Desk July 06, 2022

Simona Halep's remarkable return to Wimbledon continued with a 6-2 6-4 win over Amanda Anisimova on Centre Court to reach the semi-finals.

Former world number one Halep took the title at the All England Club in 2019 but had not been back since, with coronavirus wrecking the 2020 grass-court season before she missed its entirety in 2021 due to injury.

But it is as if the 30-year-old – backed by new coach Patrick Mouratoglou – had never been away, with Anisimova the victim of a ruthless display on Wednesday.

Anisimova might have hoped the omens were positive, given her only prior quarter-final win in a major came against Halep at the 2019 French Open, but she could hardly have been surprised by her opponent's dominance on this surface; Halep beat Anisimova in the last eight in Bad Homburg last month.

The American soon bowed to the pressure generated by Halep's return, losing five games in a row after initially holding to love. Halep seized her first two break point opportunities as Anisimova twice aimed tired shots into the net from the back of the court.

A cross-court backhand from Halep fended off Anisimova's first opening, ensuring the Romanian eased through the opener before the second set followed a familiar theme.

Anisimova held comfortably to start but then again found Halep resolute, falling 0-40 down and eventually going a break behind with a wayward forehand. Once more it was a double break when an Anisimova drop shot fell some way short.

Anisimova belatedly forced Halep back as she served for the match, taking the second of two break points and then remarkably claiming a 40-0 lead against the serve next time out.

However, Halep, having briefly lost control, recovered her composure and was able to celebrate when Anisimova blasted wide.

Data slam: Anisimova helpless against Halep on grass

Anisimova has won 12 matches in three sets this season, the joint-most on the WTA Tour, but a fightback always appeared unlikely against her imperious opponent.

After almost three years away from competitive grass-court action, Halep has returned in formidable form. In three tournaments on grass in 2022, she has reached three semi-finals. The last player to make a trio of such appearances in a single calendar year was Johanna Konta in 2017.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Halep – 11/6
Anisimova – 13/28

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Halep – 3/1
Anisimova – 0/1

BREAK POINTS WON
Halep – 4/6
Anisimova – 1/8 

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