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Elena Rybakina advances to Wimbledon semifinals with Simona Halep

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Russian-born Elena Rybakina fought back after a set to beat Ajla Tomljanovic in the Wimbledon quarterfinals.

Ybakina, who was born in Moscow but switched international affiliation to Kazakhstan in 2018, put on an excellent performance on Wednesday to reach the semifinals of a Grand Slam for the first time.

More experienced opponent Tomljanovic won the opener before the world No. 23 found her form to win 4-6 6-2 6-3 and set up a last four meeting with Simona Halep.

Two players had changed nationalities in this round of 16 clash, with Tomljanovic playing for Australia for the last four years as he was born in Croatia.

In a long third game on Court One, Tomljanovic claimed the early break and she stayed solid on her own serve to move a setup.

When Rybakina threw a double fault early in the second set it looked like the opportunity might overwhelm her, but a backhand win brought more confidence and suddenly her shots started hitting the white chalk.

Breaks were traded between the duo, but with Rybakina now getting aces regularly it seemed a matter of time before she forced a decision.

A wonderful drop shot resulted in another break and a third ensured Court One was rewarded with another set.

Rybakina had the momentum now, and a nine-of-a-possible 10 game win hotstreak put her within reach of the last four.

Tomljanovic briefly prevented what now seemed like a formality before Rybakina’s 14th ace of the competition ended him after an hour and 15 minutes.

The 23-year-old, who became Kazakhstan’s first player to finish in the last four at Wimbledon, said: “It’s incredible.

“I’m really happy that I made it to the semifinals. It was a really tough game but I heard all the support. I know some juniors support me so thank you very much.

“Hopefully it will be the same (against Halep), a good game and I’ll try to do my best.”

https://www.independent.ie/sport/other-sports/tennis/elena-rybakina-advances-to-wimbledon-semi-final-date-with-simona-halep-41818960.html Elena Rybakina advances to Wimbledon semifinals with Simona Halep

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