Simona Halep moved to the brink of a second consecutive Wimbledon title as the 2019 champion booked a semi-final with a 6-2, 6-4 defeat of Amanda Anisimova on Wednesday .

The Romanian who won the title in her last appearance here in 2019 – added to her 2018 Roland Garros trophy – did not play here in 2021 due to a calf injury. 

She will play her third Wimbledon semi-final after going through so far without dropping a set.

She needed 65 minutes to defeat her American opponent to earn a 12th consecutive Wimbledon match win.

Halep will face off in a Thursday semi against Elena Rybakina, who stopped Australian Ajla Tomljanivic in a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 comeback.

Wimbledon officials may already be war-gaming a possible nightmare scenario should 23rd-ranked Rybakina get to the final or perhaps win the title.

Though she became Kazakh in 2018, Rybakina was born in Moscow and a top performance from her could provide propaganda power to Putin’s Russia.

Wimbledon is being played without any Russian or Belarus players after they were banned from entry due to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine. As a result of that move, the Grand Slam was stripped of all ranking points by the ATP and WTA.

Club officials were reportedly wary of a Russian player winning the title to be presented with the trophy by Kate, Duchess of Cambridge.

Halep, who improved to 29-8 over her Wimbledon career, was overwhelmed to reach another semi-final.

I’m very emotional right now because it means a lot to be back in the semis.”

“I believed til the end that I could win.”

The Romanian led a set and 5-1 with Anisimova making a comeback run, winning three games on the fly before Halep wrapped up victory a game leter, saving three break points before converting on her first match point.

Rybakina, the first Kazakh to get this far at a major, dropped the opening set to Tomljanivoc but levelled by winning the last 11 points of the second.

She then won seven games in a row through the third and finished off victory with her 15th ace of the afternoon,

The Kazakh finished with 34 winners and 28 unforced errors, while Tomljanovic had 14 and 21 respectively.