Wimbledon, England ( Associated Press) — Simona Halep’s serve was working, she was making a comeback, and points were piling up.
It’s a great combination for the player, who entered the Wimbledon quarter-finals after winning her 11th straight match at the All England Club, but says she’s still trying to get back to her best tennis and work through injury. Trying to regain lost confidence.
“I’ve worked really hard in the last two, three months. I’m really happy with what I’ve done,” said Halep, who won the Wimbledon Championships in 2019, but lost her last year due to a left calf injury. Missed defending the title. “I got the confidence. I really think it’s my game. I’m pushing myself to do this as best I can. I still want to improve.”
It will be difficult to improve on Monday’s performance on Center Court.
16th seed Halep defeated fourth seed Paula Badosa 6-1, 6-2 to reach her fifth Wimbledon quarter-finals. He lost only eight points on his serve and saved the only break point he faced. On the other side of the ball, the Romanian won 30 out of 55 served by Badosa.
“I was just missing,” Badosa said. “Some days it goes in line. And some days, like today, it all goes out.”
Halep’s next rival will be Amanda Anisimova. The 20th-seeded American finally ended the debut run of a Frenchman, Harmony Tan, who had knocked out Serena Williams in the first round with a 6-2, 6-3 win.
Also on Monday, Ajla Tomljanovic defeated Elise Kornet 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 and will next face Elena Rybakina. Rybakina, seeded 17th, defeated Petra Martic 7-5, 6-3.
Halep is the only former Grand Slam champion in the women’s tournament. In April, she began working with former Williams coach Patrick Mouratoglu.
Halep injured her calf more than a year ago, forcing her to withdraw from the French Open and Wimbledon. She would have been the defending champion at last year’s grass-court Grand Slam as the 2020 tournament was canceled amid the pandemic.
Halep, 30, has said the injury made him consider retiring. No thoughts on this yet.
“It means a lot that I am back in the quarterfinals after struggling with injuries and confidence,” Halep said. “But, like I said, I’m working harder every day. I think I’ll get better if I do. Actually I’m very happy with the way I’m playing. I’m really confident It’s a pleasure to be on the court.”
With third seed Ons Jaboor in the second half of the draw, Halep is in favor of a return to the final.
First, however, she has to overtake the last American in the tournament – Anisimova.
“I’m sure I can play good tennis again. But it will be a big challenge,” Halep said of her next match. “It’s the quarterfinals at Wimbledon. I’m ready for it and I’m looking forward to it.”
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