Simona Halep insists she is now a better player and more at home on grass than she was in her last appearance in a Wimbledon semi-final.
The 27-year-old is into the last four at SW19 and faces Elina Svitolina on Thursday for a place in the final. It is the Romanian’s first semi-final appearance at the All England Club since 2014 when she lost to Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard.
Halep has made the quarter-finals on a couple of occasions but grass was never really her preferred surface, with much more success on the clay at Roland Garros. However, it seems things have now altered in that respect as the world number seven’s all-round game has developed.
“I’m a different person,” she said. “Everything changed. I have a lot of experience now. I’m more confident. I love grass – it’s first time that I have said that. “I think it’s a big challenge for me, the next match. But I will take it like I took every match since I’m here. I’m relaxed. I’m happy. I’m motivated to win.”
Svitolina, who is the underdog at 2.88, is happy with her form and looking forward to taking on the former world number one. “I’m playing free, I’m playing decent tennis,” she said.
“It’s the first time that we play in a semi-final, it’s going to be interesting for both of us.” Halep can be backed at 1.40 to progress to the final and is on offer at 2.75 to win the tournament, with Serena Williams the favourite at 2.10.