Simona Halep lives up to her status as the only former Grand Slam winner in this year’s women’s draw.
The Romanian beat fourth-placed Paula Badosa 6-1, 6-2 on Center Court on Monday to return to the Wimbledon quarter-finals and extend her winning streak to 11 games at the All England Club.
Next, Halep meets 20th-ranked American Amanda Anisimova, who ended Harmony Tan’s time at Wimbledon with a 6-2, 6-3 win. The 115th Tan of France had become one of the toasts of the tournament after a remarkable run that saw him edge out seven-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams in the first round.
It’s Anisimova’s first Grand Slam quarterfinal since the semifinals at the French Open in 2019, when she also defeated Tan en route. Anisimova, 20, lost in the first round at Wimbledon last year.
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 due to the pandemic. However, this was Halep’s first victory over a top five player on grass.
“I’ve worked really hard in the last two or three months. I’m really happy with everything I’ve done,” said Halep. “I’ve got the confidence. I really feel like this is my game. I’m trying to do as much as possible. I still want to improve.”
The former No. 1, who also won the French Open in 2018, is yet to drop a set at this year’s tournament and has consistently beaten Badosa in baseline rallies. She finished with just nine unforced errors and saved the only break point she faced.
“I was just missing,” said Badosa. “Some days there’s a line. And some days, like today, everyone goes out.”
Badosa’s defeat means No. 3 Ons Jabeur is the only top-10 seed in the women’s tournament.
Halep, 30, said the injury made her think about retirement. That doesn’t seem to be the case at the moment.
“It means a lot to me to be back in the quarterfinals after struggling so much with injuries and confidence,” Halep said. “But like I said, I work hard every day. I feel like if I do this, I’ll get better. Actually, I’m very happy with the way I’m playing. I’m really confident. It’s a pleasure to be on the field.”
Ajla Tomljanovic, meanwhile, came off a set to beat Alize Cornet and reach her second consecutive Wimbledon quarterfinal. The Australian won in second place 4-6 6-4 6-3 to set up a meeting with Elena Rybakina and was in tears after a grueling match that lasted 2 hours and 35 minutes.
“I didn’t really think I could do it,” said Tomljanovic, who lost to eventual champions Ash Barty in the quarter-finals last year. “I can’t believe I’m in the same position a year later.”
32-year-old Cornet ended No. 1 Iga Swiatek’s 37-game winning streak in the preliminary round. The French veteran played in her 62nd consecutive Grand Slam tournament – matching Ai Sugiyama’s WTA record – and 65th overall, but only reached her first major quarterfinal at the Australian Open this year.
Rybakina reached the quarterfinals of Wimbledon for the first time after beating Petra Martic 7-5, 6-3.
17th seeded Rybakina broke in the last game of the first set and then took a 4-2 lead again in the second. She ended up with 26 winners to 13 for her opponent.
Rybakina reached the quarter-finals of the French Open last year when she reached the fourth round in her first appearance at the All England Club at Wimbledon.
Martic was playing Wimbledon for the tenth time but never advanced past the fourth round.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.