Wimbledon 2019: Simona Halep and Elina Svitolina to meet in semi-finals
|Wimbledon 2019 on the BBC|
|Venue: All England Club Dates: 1-14 July|
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Seventh seed Simona Halep is through to the semi-finals at Wimbledon for the first time since 2014 after a 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 victory over China's Zhang Shuai.
Halep, 27, the highest seed left in the womens' singles, had to fight back from 4-1 down to take a thrilling first set.
The Romanian former world number one then raced away with the second to triumph in 86 minutes.
Halep will play eighth-seeded Ukrainian Elina Svitolina, a 7-5 6-4 winner over Karolina Muchova, in the last four.
Like Halep, Svitolina was initially on the defensive, losing her first two service games as she slipped 5-2 adrift in the opening set.
However, she converted her fifth break point in a marathon 11th game to move 6-5 ahead before serving out.
Muchova, ranked 60 places below her opponent, made early inroads in the second set, but could not maintain her level and Svitolina, watched by partner and men's world number 15 Gael Monfils, sealed her win with powerful serve out wide.
It is the first time that Svitolina, 24, has been beyond the last 16 in six previous campaigns at the All England Club. Her match against Halep will be her first Grand Slam semi-final after four last-eight defeats.
"It feels amazing. It is the first semi-final for me, and I actually didn't expect it to happen here. It is exciting and I am looking forward to it already," she said.
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Zhang has also confounded low expectations with her run. The world number 50 had never won a match at Wimbledon in five previous visits but had four break-points to take a 5-1 first-set lead before Halep dug in and recovered control.
Halep - who beat 15-year-old Coco Gauff on Monday - took control early in the second set, breaking twice in quick succession as Zhang's game collapsed.
"I fought hard in the first set, even though I was down 4-1," Halep told the BBC. "I knew she was going to hit with a lot of power, but I knew today I had to be as strong as possible.
"I have energy. I feel fresh. I feel confident when I step on the court. I play my best tennis on grass courts."