LONDON - Romania's Simona Halep continued her impressive season with a businesslike dismantling of Sabine Lisicki at Wimbledon on Wednesday to set up what should be an enthralling semi-final against surprise package Eugenie Bouchard.
Halep, the beaten finalist at last month's French Open, has climbed to third in the rankings this year by virtue of career-best results at consecutive grand slams and was in no mood to ease up as she overcame 19th seed Lisicki 6-4 6-0.
The 24-year-old German had harboured hopes of erasing memories of her tearful defeat by the now-retired Marion Bartoli in last year's final and went on the attack from the start to race into a 4-1 lead.
Showing no signs of the shoulder injury suffered in her previous match on Tuesday, Lisicki pinned back Halep with some big serves and ferocious passing shots.
But 22-year-old Halep did not panic and showed her mettle to level at 4-4.
Lisicki, apparently sensing that she had missed a golden opportunity, grew increasingly twitchy as the third seed began to assert herself and Halep rattled off the next two games to take the first set.
The writing was on the wall for the German as early as the opening game of the second set, double-faulting and failing to put away a simple volley as Halep broke serve and proceeded to give Lisicki the runaround in the next five games to secure her semi-final date with 13th seed Bouchard.
The 20-year-old, who has done nothing but enhance her burgeoning reputation on her way to becoming the first Canadian to reach the semi-finals of Wimbledon, beat Germany's Angelique Kerber 6-3 6-4. (Editing by Clare Lovell and Martyn Herman)