LONDON: Elena Rybakina recovered from a shaky start to overwhelm Australian Ajla Tomljanovic 4-6 6-2 6-3 on Wednesday and set up a Wimbledon semi-final with Simona Halep, becoming the first Kazakhstan player to reach the last four of a Grand Slam.
The first set was close but swung on the third game when, after five deuces Tomljanovic broke before serving strongly to take it 6-4.
Rybakina, 23, broke early in the second and though Tomljanovic’s athletic court coverage enabled her to hit straight back, the tall Kazak then took total command, breaking to love to win the second on the back of 11 straight points.
Rybakina, who took her tournament ace tally into the 40s with another 15, cranked up the pressure in the decider, taking a 3-0 lead after winning seven games in a row, and breaking again for 5-1.
Although her progress was briefly held up, she served out brilliantly and fittingly finished the match with an ace.