Wimbledon - Halep eases past Diyas to reach quarter-finals

French Open runner-up Simona Halep raced to a 6-3 6-0 fourth round win over Kazakhstan's Zarina Diyas on Tuesday to become just the second Romanian woman to reach the quarter-finals at Wimbledon.

Reuters
Wimbledon - Halep eases past Diyas to reach quarter-finals
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Simona Halep of Romania hits a return during her women's singles tennis match against Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London July 1, 2014 (Reuters)

The world number three has enjoyed a year of career-best results at consecutive grand slams and wasted little time in continuing that trend at the All England Club with a dominant victory on Court Two in just 57 minutes.

Halep became the first Romanian woman to reach a grand slam final in 34 years at Roland Garros last month, where she was beaten in three sets by Maria Sharapova.

Tuesday's victory ensured she followed in the footsteps of compatriot Virginia Ruzici, who lost at the quarter-final stage in 1978 and 1981, in reaching the last eight on the grass courts of southwest London.

The third seed will meet 2013 Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki in the next round.

Lisicki's love-affair with grass continued to blossom as she reached the quarter-finals for the fourth year running with a 6-3 3-6 6-4 win over Kazakhstan's Yaroslava Shvedova on Tuesday.

For 50 weeks of the year, the 24-year-old German seems to get lost in the crowd by producing one non-descript performance after another.

But come Wimbledon fortnight and the 2013 runner-up morphs into a world beater and has now reached at least the quarter-finals in each of her last five appearances, having missed the 2010 tournament through injury.

The 19th seed raised a few alarms within her camp on day eight of the championships when she took a medical time out at 1-1 in the third set. Lying flat on her stomach on Court Three, her back and shoulder was massaged and brought back to life by the tournament trainer.

Although she received further treatment during the changeovers, she maintained her focus and wrapped up victory on her third match point when Shvedova netted a forehand.

Lisicki celebrated by shrieking and falling to her knees in delight and will next face French Open runner up Simona Halep for a place in the semi-finals.

Lucie Safarova led the Czech charge into the Wimbledon semi-finals on Tuesday, beating Ekaterina Makarova of Russia 6-3 6-1 to become the first woman through to the last four.

The 27-year-old's victory guaranteed a Czech woman would reach the final as she will meet the winner of the later quarter-final between former champion Petra Kvitova and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova in Thursday's semi-final.

"I played really well and wanted to get through this match and I am so happy," a beaming Safarova said.

It is the furthest the Monaco-based player has advanced in 37 grand slam appearances.

"I was serving well and being aggressive and taking her time away and that was the key to the victory," Safarova, seeded 23, said.

It is the first time since the start of the professional era in 1968 that three Czech women have advanced to the quarter-finals of a grand slam tournament.

Women's singles results

Quarterfinal

23-Lucie Safarova (Czech Republic) beat 22-Ekaterina Makarova (Russia) 6-3 6-1

Round 4

3-Simona Halep (Romania) beat Zarina Diyas (Kazakhstan) 6-3 6-0

9-Angelique Kerber (Germany) beat 5-Maria Sharapova (Russia) 7-6(4) 4-6 6-4

19-Sabine Lisicki (Germany) beat Yaroslava Shvedova (Kazakhstan) 6-3 3-6 6-4

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