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LONDON: For almost 45 minutes, Simona Halep handed out a public flogging to a shell-shocked Amanda Anisimova in their Wimbledon quarter-final on Wednesday.

It was getting so bad for Anisimova, her fellow American John McEnroe quipped: “This is bordering on embarrassing… this will be over in 10 minutes.”

McEnroe’s prediction was a little off but Romanian Halep will be fancying her chances of reaching a second Wimbledon final in three editions after subjecting a red-faced Anisimova to a 6-2 6-4 mauling on Centre Court.

“It’s great to be back in the semi-finals. I’m very emotional right now. It means a lot,” a beaming Halep told the crowd after setting up a last-four showdown with 17th seed Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan.

For Anisimova, everything that could go wrong, went wrong.

The 20-year-old American had struck a tournament-leading 108 winners coming into the quarter-finals, but those shots were in short supply against an opponent who feels at home on grass and has not dropped a set in these championships.

Rybakina finds her range to set up Halep semi-final

When Halep broke for the fourth time to take 6-2 4-1 lead, a tormented Anisimova expressed her disgust by rejecting one racket after another into her red bag.

That she ended up keeping Halep engaged on Centre Court past the hour mark was an accomplishment in itself because for the majority of match, fans who had forked out 175 pounds ($208) for a Centre Court ticket must have felt short-changed.

Staring at defeat at 5-1 down, the American managed to win three games on the trot for the first time in the contest, including breaking the 2019 champion when she went to serve for the match in the eighth game.

Two games later Anisimova had Halep 0-40 down again when she made a second attempt to serve out the victory.

But a few hard-hitting slaps to her thigh got the 30-year-old’s legs moving again and she secured the win when Anisimova swiped a backhand long.

“I played a tough opponent today - she could crunch the ball in the end,” 16th seed Halep said after reaching her third semi-final at the All England Club.

“I had to stay strong on my legs - they helped me today. I also needed my serve - everything was good, and it finished well.”

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