Simona Halep remains the favourite to triumph at Wimbledon and Eurosport’s Alex Corretja and Mats Wilander have been exploring her recent improvements.
The two-time major champion will be competing in her first Grand Slam semi-final since the 2020 Australian Open after she produced a dominant win over Amanda Anisimova on Wednesday afternoon.
The 2019 champion broke Anisimova, 20, twice in each set on her way to a 6-2 6-4 victory on Centre Court in just over an hour and she will next face Elena Rybakina in the semi-finals.
Halep, who is now working with Serena Williams’ former coach Patrick Mouratoglou, has become “more complete”, according to Corretja and Wilander.
“She [Halep] looked a little bit tight at the end as Amanda Anisimova started hitting the ball better,” Wilander noted. “Coming back from 0-40, 4-5 and holding, what a great effort from Simona.
“That is why it was so interesting in the on-court interview when she said ‘I needed my legs’ because her arm was probably a little bit tight. She relied on her legs, which is very smart, and very experienced because everyone gets nervous in their arms sometimes but legs are the greatest tool when you get nervous.
“She is a lot better player now [compared to when she won Wimbledon in 2019], but it doesn’t always mean you get the results often. I think she is more complete, serves better and is willing to go forwards a little bit. She threatens to take the ball early and she forces the opponent to go for too much.”
Corretja added: “I feel like for Amanda, she felt she already lost and let it go, had nothing to lose and she came back. It is good for Simona to finish like this going into the semi-final, honestly.
“She is hitting harder, the ball toss on her serve is still quite high, but she is hitting a little bit more in the spots and also flatter. A great performance from her; Simona is looking super good.”
“It is great to be back in the semi-finals,” Halep said after holding off a late Anisimova rally to reach the last four.
“I am very emotional right now – it means a lot. I played a tough opponent today, she can crush the ball and I didn’t know what to do. But I believed in myself, and I had to stay there strong on my legs – they helped me today.
“I struggled a lot last year and I am just trying to build my confidence back. I am starting to do that and it is good. The crowd gives me a lot of energy.”