Wimbledon: Simona Halep defeats Shuai Zhang in straight sets to reach semi-finals

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Romanian tennis player Simona Halep, 7th WTA, has qualified on Tuesday to the Wimbledon semi-finals, after defeating Shuai Zhang (China, 50th WTA) 7-6 (7-4), 6-1.

For the first time in five years, Simona Halep will play in the semifinals of Wimbledon, wtatennis.com informs.

The No.7 seed came through a tight opening set and eased through to the finish against unseeded Zhang Shuai, 7-6(4), 6-1, to become the first woman through to this year’s final four.

Halep trailed 4-1 in the opening set, but came through what proved to be a crucial sixth game – where she saved four break points which would’ve seen her trail 5-1 – to win three straight games to level.

She later won the first set in a tiebreak, winning five of the last seven points to claim her first set from Zhang in seven years, and eased through the second set behind a pair of late service breaks.

“I expected her to play so well. She beat me the last two times that we played. I was a little bit nervous before the match, a little bit stressed. I knew that she’s going to come and hit the balls very strong,” Halep said after the match.

“When she hits…the ball doesn’t bounce that much. It’s really tough to return. But I kept fighting. I knew that I have to be 100% for every ball, then I will break her rhythm a little bit. It happened in the second set.”

“I’m really happy I can make the quarterfinals and play on Court 1 against the, yeah, former No. 1,” Zhang said in defeat.

“Today I had a really good start. I make, like, 4-1, 40-15 I think. Yeah, I try my best, play — try to play more winners. After the 4-1, I made more mistakes, I think.

“She find really good rhythm after the few games. I…did nothing wrong, I just tried my best. Anyway, [I’m] really happy this year [with] Wimbledon.”

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