Simona Halep lives 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 Center 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 win. Tan, from France, ranked 115th in the rankings, had become one of the toasts of the tournament after a remarkable run that included defeating seven-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams in the first round.
It’s Anisimova’s first Grand Slam quarterfinal since the French Open semifinals in 2019, when she also beat Tan along the way. Anisimova, 20, lost in the first round at 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 due to the pandemic. However, this was Halep’s first win over a top-five ranked player on grass.
“I worked very hard in the last two or three months. I am very happy with everything I have done,” said Halep. “I have the confidence. I really feel like this is my game. I am trying hard to do it as much as possible. I still want to improve.”
The former No. 1, who also won the French Open in 2018, has yet to drop a set at this year’s tournament and consistently outscored Badosa in baseline rallies. He finished with just nine unforced errors and saved the only break point he faced.
“I was just missing it,” Badosa said. “Some days it goes down the line. And some days, like today, everyone goes out.”
Badosa’s loss means No. 3 Ons Jabeur is the only top-10 seed left in the women’s tournament.
Halep, 30, said the injury made her consider retiring. There doesn’t seem to be any idea of that now.
“It means a lot that I am back in the quarterfinals after having struggled so much with injuries and self-confidence,” said Halep. “But like I said, I’m working hard every day. I feel like if I do that, I’ll get better. In fact, I am very happy with the way I am playing. I am very confident. It’s a pleasure to be on the pitch.”
Ajla Tomljanovic, meanwhile, came from a set down to beat Alize Cornet and reach her second consecutive Wimbledon quarterfinal. The Australian won 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 on Court No. 2 to set up a meeting with Elena Rybakina, and she was in tears after a grueling match that lasted 2 hours and 35 minutes.
“I really didn’t 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 he’s in the same position.”
The 32-year-old Cornet ended No. 1 Iga Swiatek’s 37-match winning streak in the previous round. The French veteran was playing in her 62nd consecutive Grand Slam tournament, matching the WTA record held by Ai Sugiyama, and 65th overall, but she 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.
Seeded 17, 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, reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon in her first All England Club appearance.
Martic was playing Wimbledon for the tenth time, but never got past the fourth round.
Associated Press contributed to this report.