Simona Halep produces vintage Wimbledon display to stun Paula Badosa

Former Wimbledon champion Simona Halep shone on Centre Court to ease past fourth seed Spaniard Paula Badosa 6-1 6-2 to advance to the quarter-finals at SW19.

A first match on Centre Court since arguably her greatest win over Serena Williams in the 2019 final, the 16th seed was sensational.

With 17 winners and five breaks of serve against Badosa, the Romanian barely needed an hour to skip into the last eight.

“It was the place that I wanted to be today. I think I played a great match,” Halep said. “It’s always tough to play against her, she’s a great player. Always nervous before, but I enjoyed a lot to be back on Centre Court, in front of this beautiful crowd, always supporting me. It’s a pleasure to be back here.”

The only former champion left in the draw and a path to glory without the top 15 women’s seeds, Halep is thrilled with her game.

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“I’m really pleased with the way I played this tournament so far. Day by day, it’s getting better,” said Halep. “I’m just looking forward to playing the next one and to give my best again, as today.”

American Amanda Anisimova is next for Halep after ending Harmony Tan’s fairytale Wimbledon debut in straight sets 6-2 6-3.

World No 115 Tan, who kick-started her campaign by dumping out 23-times Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, could not match the 20th seed Anisimova, who overpowered her from the baseline in just 74 minutes.

Ajla Tomljanovic made history as the first Australian woman in more than two decades to reach back-to-back Wimbledon quarter-finals after outlasting Alize Cornet over three pulsating sets, 4-6 6-4 6-3 .

The unseeded Australian triumphed in a similar match to last year’s thrilling three-setter at the 2021 Championships with breaks of serves routinely swapped, including a six-game run without a hold of service.

Tomljanovic sealed her place in the last eight with a fine winner, sparking floods of tears in celebration.

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The 44th-ranked Tomljanovic will take on 17th seed Elena Rybakina, after her dominant win over Petra Martic.

The Kazakh, who hit twice as many winners as her opponent, said: “It means a lot to me (to be in the quarter-finals). It’s an amazing tournament and I was watching on TV when I was a kid so it’s a dream to play on such courts. I’m just happy to go forward and we will see how it goes.”

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