September 30, 2022

China’s Zhang Shuai (L) and Belgium’s Elise Mertens during their women’s doubles fourth round match at Wimbledon, All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London, England on July 6, 2022. /CFP

China’s Zhang Shuai (L) and Belgium’s Elise Mertens during their women’s doubles fourth round match at Wimbledon, All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London, England on July 6, 2022. /CFP

Chinese tennis veteran Zhang Shuai continued her quest for a maiden women’s doubles title at Wimbledon, edging out a Slovenian-Chilean duo to reach the semi-finals with Belgian partner Elise Mertens on Wednesday.

Driven by a passionate crowd at the All England Club, Zhang and Mertens never seemed to risk giving in to the pressure, despite a spirited effort from Andreja Klepac and Alexa Guarachi.

The top-seeded pair remained calm throughout and showed epic efficiency, winning the encounter 6-3, 6-2 with relative ease.

Zhang Shuai (L) talks to Elise Mertens during their fourth-round women’s doubles match on July 6, 2022. /CFP

Zhang Shuai (L) talks to Elise Mertens during their fourth-round women’s doubles match on July 6, 2022. /CFP

This is the fourth time in her career that Zhang has reached the women’s doubles semi-finals of a Grand Slam tournament. The 33-year-old achieved the feat at US Open 2018, Australian Open 2019 and US Open last year.

It was also Mertens’ 10th straight doubles victory at Wimbledon. She managed to reach the Wimbledon women’s doubles semi-finals for the second year in a row.

Zhang and Mertens next face American pair Danielle Collins and Desirae Krawczyk, who beat 11th seed Erin Routliffe of New Zealand and Alicja Rosolska of Poland 6-1, 6-7, 6-3.

In the other semi-final, Ukrainian Lyudmyla Kichenok and Latvian Jelena Ostapenko will face No. 2 seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova.

Rafael Nadal wins the men’s singles quarter-final match at Wimbledon, All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, July 6, 2022. /CFP

Rafael Nadal wins the men’s singles quarter-final match at Wimbledon, All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, July 6, 2022. /CFP

Later in the day, Rafael Nadal overcame an injury scare to reach an eighth Wimbledon semi-final. The 22-time Grand Slam champion, who had a medical timeout at the end of the second set, came from behind to beat American Taylor Fritz 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5 , 7-6 (10 /4).

“For many moments I thought I couldn’t finish the game but the crowd, the energy, thanks for that,” beamed the Spain star, who struggled with his movement for long stretches. “Honestly, I really enjoy playing these kind of matches in front of you guys. I can’t thank you enough for the support.”

“It was a tough afternoon against a great player,” Nadal added. “Thanks to Taylor for doing a great job all season.” The 2008 and 2010 champion has revealed he will undergo further tests. “I’m used to pain. It’s nothing new,” he said. “But without a doubt, today was the worst day.”

Nick Kyrgios wins his first Grand Slam semi-final at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 6, 2022. /CFP

Nick Kyrgios wins his first Grand Slam semi-final at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 6, 2022. /CFP

Next up for Nadal is a date with Australian firebrand Nick Kyrgios, who stormed into his maiden Grand Slam semi-final by winning Chile’s Cristian Garin 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (7 /5). Kyrgios is the first Australian player to reach the semi-finals since Lleyton Hewitt in 2005.

“It would be quite special to play against Rafa here,” Kyrgios said when asked about his semi-final opponent. “I feel like it would be a mouth-watering encounter for everyone in the world. It would probably be the most-watched game ever. I would say.”