Halep dashes new mum Azarenka's comeback dreams

Simona Halep put an end to Victoria Azarenka’s comeback, defeating the Belarussian 7-6(3) 6-2 in their fourth round match.

Simona Halep will next face Britain's Johanna Konta in the quarterfinal.   -  Getty Images

Simona Halep sent new mum Victoria Azarenka packing 7-6(3) 6-2 in the fourth round on Monday as a litany of second-set errors destroyed the Belarussian's dreams of a fairytale Wimbledon comeback.

Azarenka, playing in her second tournament after the birth of her son Leo in December, out-hit and out-thought the second-seeded Romanian for much of a pulsating first set, mixing deep groundstrokes with frequent dropshots and forays to the net.

But the two-times semifinalist at Wimbledon began to flag in the first-set tiebreak, losing it 7-3 before conceding the next five games.

A mini fightback pegged the second-set deficit back to 5-2 before another Azarenka backhand groundstroke error saw Halep home in just under 90 minutes, keeping alive the Romanian's hopes of a maiden grand slam victory and an ascent to the world number one ranking.

Halep will face Britain's Johanna Konta in the quarterfinal.