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By Sam Holden
LONDON, July 1 French Open runner-up Simona Halep looked the model of consistency as she raced into the Wimbledon quarter-finals with a 6-3 6-0 fourth-round win over Kazakhstan's Zarina Diyas on Tuesday.
The world number three, who has enjoyed a year of excellent results at consecutive grand slams, has seen seeds tumble all around her at Wimbledon.
But, apparently unpeturbed, she swept aside Diyas in just 57 minutes on Court Two to set up a quarter-final date with last year's runner-up Sabine Lisicki.
Halep is only the second Romanian woman to reach the quarter-finals at Wimbledon, following in the footsteps of Virginia Ruzici, who lost in the quarter-finals in 1978 and 1981.
Halep also became the first Romanian woman to reach a grand slam final in 34 years at Roland Garros last month. In 1980 Ruzici lost to Chris Evert.
With a place in the last 16 at the 2013 U.S. Open and the quarter-finals at the Australian Open in January, Halep has become accustomed to playing on the big stage.
"I'm not surprised that I play a quarter-final tomorrow," Halep, now the highest seed left in the women's draw, told reporters.
"I'm third in the rankings so I have to be here in the quarter finals. I've played really well and I have confidence in myself.
"I deserve to be here because I'm working hard every day and it's normal to be in the last matches of tournaments and grand slams."
Halep's quarter-final will be her second match in as many days, with rain delays on Saturday and Monday forcing organisers to rearrange the schedule.
If she beats Lisicki it will be three matches in three days.
"The weather wasn't nice to us but we have to adapt quickly," the no-nonsense 22-year-old said.
"I didn't play two days in a row (after her third-round victory). It's not easy. It's like starting a new tournament but you have to manage your emotions."
Halep said there was a big differnce between her style of play and that of 19th seed Lisicki.
"She's an aggressive player. I play smarter -- I want to open up the angles. I move good, so I have confidence tomorrow I can do well."
(firstname.lastname@example.org; editing by Clare Lovell)