By Ros Satar, at Wimbledon
- Simona Halep  def. Zhang Shuai 7-6(4) 6-1
- Reaches the semi-finals for the first time since 2014.
WIMBLEDON, UK – Simona Halep declared her love for the grass after coming through a tough fight with Zhang Shuai to reach the semi-finals for the second time.
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Simona Halep  def. Zhang Shuai 7-6(4) 6-1
Already trailing Zhang Shuai 1-2 in their head to head, including falling to her at the 2016 Australian Open, where Zhang had her Slam breakthrough, Simona Halep was really put to the test early on in the first set as Zhang broke and built up a commanding-looking 4-1 lead.
A pivotal game saw Halep save four break points alone to hold for 2-4 and breaking Zhang to get things back on serve helped turned the momentum for the Romanian. She forced the tie-break and eventually nudged ahead to grab the first set.
From that point on her confidence seemed to grow, as she broke Zhang twice in a row to book her place in the semi-finals for the second time since 2014. There she had been the favourite to reach the final before rolling her ankle.
“It’s a new year, new edition, so I will not think about that semi-final (smiling). I’m a different person. Everything changed. I have a lot of experience now. I’m more confident. I love grass. It’s first time when I say that (laughter).
“I think it’s a big challenge for me, next match. But I will take it like I took every match since I’m here. I’m relaxed. I’m happy. I’m motivated to win.”
She will face Elina Svitolina and again just trails her opponent in their head to head by a small margin.
Halep continued: “Every time was tough against Svitolina. I expect a tough one also again. It’s semifinals, so doesn’t matter how many times you played before or how the score is, you just have to give your best and to try to win.”
The Ladies’ semi-finals will take place on Thursday.
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