Halep 3-6, 0-1 Rybakina* (*indicates next server)
Early push on Halep service as she gets pushed to 30-30. Rybakina just misses with a backhand down the line, 40-30.
Rybakina steps in and shoots a massive forehand return, Halep mounts a defensive lob and Rybakina blasts away a drive forehand winner.
Halep has to come low to process Rybakina’s deep groundstrokes and she opens a cross court forehand, deuce.
Halep double fault, breakpoint. Another double fault and Rybakina breaks. ouch.
Halep* 3-6 Rybakina (*indicates next server)
An ace to start Rybakina’s match, 15-0. Again too much power from Rybakina as she hits a forehand winner, 30-0.
118mph ace of Rybakina, three set points. Halep hangs in the game with a backhand winner. Deep Halep return lashes out at Rybakina, who hits a backhand wrong into the net.
Halep forehands into the net and the first set goes to Rybakina.
Halep 3-5 Rybakina* (*indicates next server)
Shot of the day from Halep, who hits a backhand winner down the line despite his imbalance, 30-0.
Halep with forehand in the net, 30-30. Halep double fault, setpoint.
Halep saved it with a cautious backhand down the line after sending Rybakina to the net with a short ball, deuce.
Relief for Halep as she holds on when Rybakina fails to return a wide first serve.
Halep* 2-5 Rybakina (*indicates next server)
Rybakina attempts a forehand down the line, 15-15. Huge forehand cross court winner by Rybakina, 30-15.
Halep seems to be constantly defending against the force coming from the other side of the net at this point.
But Rybakina shows delicate touch with a slashed backhand zipping off the sidelines and Halep can’t get the ball back into play.
Halep 2-4 Rybakina* (*indicates next server)
Rybakina forehand return winner of a Halep second serve, 15-15. Hit big.
Rybakina then goes just wide with a cross court forehand. She challenges and Hawkeye says the ball was in, 15-30.
Halep backhand into the net, two break points. Halep saves the first with a forehand winner.
Halep turns defense into attack, drives to the net and Rybakina grabs a backhand. Big opportunity missed.
And Halep holds on as Rybakina cuts a forehand long. A vital foothold.
Halep* 1-4 Rybakina (*indicates next server)
Halep is currently dealing with a severe storm from Rybakina. But when Rybakina goes for a drop shot, it usually backfires, 30-30.
Wide serve from Rybakina and Halep sets her return wide. Rybakina holds the lead and Halep gets a short pass but puts her forehand long.
Halep 1-3 Rybakina* (*indicates next server)
Rybakina tries a subtle drop shot but gets it wrong and Halep punishes her with a forehand winner, 30-15. Rybakina shoots a flat cross-court backhand and finishes with a forehand dropshot, 30-30.
More massive blows from Rybakina to earn a breaking point. Halep finds her first serve and Rybakina nets, two.
Halep finally gets to the board when Rybakina hits a long backhand.
Halep* 0-3 Rybakina (*indicates next server)
Rybakina consolidates the break with more massive strokes from the baseline. She won 13 of the 17 points played so far.
Halep 0-2 Rybakina* (*indicates next server)
Early trouble for Halep as she slides to 0-30. But she recovers to 40-30 when Rybakina makes a forehand.
Huge forehand from Rybakina and she ends up with an overhead winner. Rybakina breaking point when Halep commits double fouls.
And she gets the early break with a deep forehand that Halep can’t get back into play.
First set: Simona Halep* 0-1 Elena Rybakina (*indicates next server)
Ideal start to the match by Rybakina as she hits two winners to love.
She probably had the best serve of the tournament this year.
Here we go
Welcome to our live coverage of the Wimbledon 2022 semifinal between Simona Halep and Elena Rybakina.
Halep won the SW19 title in 2019 but missed the chance to defend her crown in 2020 as the tournament was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Then last year she missed a second chance because of an injured left calf.
“That was the perfect match of my life,” Halep said of her win over Serena Williams three years ago. “Now I’m playing really well. I’m confident I feel the game the way I felt then.”
Halep, the number 16 this year, has extended her winning streak at the All England Club to 12 games and reached the semi-finals for the third time by beating Amanda Anisimova 6-2, 6-4 at Center Court.
The Romanian, who makes her 10th appearance at Wimbledon, is the only remaining Grand Slam champion in the women’s tournament. She claimed the French Open in 2018 before taking the title at the All England Club the following year.
“I’m different. I play differently. I’m playing well now. All the games were different than in 2019,” said Halep. “I think I got a little bit better every game. I had tough opponents and I did what I had to do every day.”
Seventeenth seed Rybakina defeated Ajla Tomljanovic 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 at No. 1 Court in her quarterfinals.
The 23-year-old Kazakh, who is only playing Wimbledon for the second time in her career, lost in the fourth round last year.
Rybakina dropped her first set of the tournament, but broke Tomljanovic early in the second and third set. She finished the match with 15 aces.
“I think the key, of course, is my aggressive play,” Rybakina said of the game against Halep. “She’s a great champion. She moves really well and reads the game. I just try to do my best, focus on things I have control over: my serve, my shots, emotions.”