Simona Halep thrashes Magdalena Frech on return to Wimbledon

Former champion eases into fourth round of grass court major

Romania's Simona Halep celebrates beating Poland's Magdalena Frech at Wimbledon on July 2, 2022. AFP
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Former champion Simona Halep soared into the fourth round of Wimbledon on Saturday with a commanding 6-4, 6-1 victory over Poland's Magdalena Frech.

The 30-year-old Romanian, who returned to the All England Club this year for the first time since winning in 2019, came into the match having beaten Frech in both their previous meetings.

Despite a stiff breeze blowing across Court Two, Halep started in aggressive fashion to build up a 4-0 lead and although the 92nd-ranked Frech managed to get a break of serve back, it was not enough to stop her opponent from winning the first set.

Playing her maiden third-round match at a major, Frech also cancelled out an early break at the start of the second set but Halep regained the lead immediately and celebrated with a clenched fist and repeated slaps on her thigh.

There was no stopping the 2018 French Open winner after that as she continued to spray the court with winners and advanced to the net at every opportunity to leave Frech, who has never beaten a top-20 player, stranded.

Halep broke Frech's serve twice more and sealed the contest in 67 minutes with her 24th winner.

"It has been a good match," Halep said on court. "It's always difficult to play on grass. Today with the wind it was not that easy.

"It's always a pleasure to play at Wimbledon and I have great memories, so I'm trying just to enjoy everyday.

"It helps a lot that I could win this tournament, I have confidence but every match is difficult and every opponent is tough."

Halep will meet fourth-seeded Paula Badosa for a place in the quarter-finals.

Badosa dug deep to edge two-time former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova 7-5, 7-6.

The Spaniard, who made the same stage in 2021, said: "Petra is a champion and for me one of the biggest challenges is to play Petra on grass.

"Today, being able to play against her it was already a pleasure and you can't imagine how I feel after this win. For me it's unbelievable.

Updated: July 02, 2022, 5:58 PM