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Halep thrashes Badosa to reach Wimbledon quarters

Venue: All England Club Dates: 27 June-10 July
Coverage: Live across BBC TV, radio and online with extensive coverage on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, Connected TVs and mobile app.

Simona Halep needed just 60 minutes to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals as she thrashed fourth seed Paula Badosa in a devastating display.

Halep, champion in 2019, claimed a 6-1 6-2 win against the error-strewn Spaniard on her return to Centre Court.

The Romanian is the only Grand Slam winner left standing in the women’s singles draw.

She will play Amanda Anisimova next after the American ended Harmony Tan’s run with a 6-2 6-3 win.

Halep did not defend her title in 2020 after the tournament was cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic and missed last year’s Wimbledon with injury.

“Definitely Centre Court was a place I wanted to be today,” she said.

“I think I played a great match. It is always difficult to play her but it was a pleasure to be back on Centre Court with this great crowd supporting me”

Halep dominates on main stage

Simona Halep beat Serena Williams to win her second Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in 2019

The numbers emphasise just how dominant Halep was – a first set that lasted 23 minutes, 17 winners flying from her racquet and saving the sole break point she faced.

The Romanian set the tone with a stunning backhand pass to break Badosa in the third game, then breaking again to love as Badosa faltered.

The Spaniard cut a lost figure, unable to find the lines or provide any consistency, finding herself dragged from 40-15 to deuce as she served to stay in the set.

Centre Court was hushed, almost as lost as Badosa with the firepower that was coming her way, and there was a sigh as a netted shot from Badosa handed Halep the first set.

After losing seven games in a row, Badosa finally found some resistance. There were cheers from the crowd as she hit a rare forehand winner, and more when she created a break point on the Halep serve.

However, Halep was able to close the opportunity down, knowing that the errors would soon come off Badosa’s racquet.

There were cheers when Badosa finally showed some form, with a forehand winner for 30-15 greeted by cries of “yes!” from the crowd. Despite earning a break point, Badosa could not keep up with Halep’s aggression, and although she fended off another two break opportunities at 2-2, it felt like just a matter of time for Halep.

The former champion ended as she had started, reeling off four games in a row to secure victory and reach the quarter-finals without dropping a set.

“I did not think about [not dropping a set] until now but day by day it is better and better,” Halep added.

“I am just looking forward to playing the next one and giving my best.”

Earlier, Kazakh 17th seed Elena Rybakina beat Croatia’s Petra Martic 7-5 6-3 to reach her first Wimbledon quarter-final.

She will play Ajla Tomljanovic after the Australian beat France’s Alize Cornet 4-6 6-4 6-3.

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