Wimbledon Women’s Semifinalists Are Set

WIMBLEDON, Great Britain

Despite the scores, there was a battle in all four quarterfinal matches. [11] Serena Williams (USA) will meet the dangerous thirty-three-year-old, who is in her first ever major semifinal, [54] Barbora Strycova (CZE).

[7] Simona Halep (ROU) will meet [8] Elina Svitolina (UKR). Like Strycova, Svitolina is into her first ever major semifinal.

Getty Images Europe: Simona Halep

How They Got Here From The Quarterfinals

Williams had to get by the in-form, [55] Alison Riske (USA). Riske took the early lead in the first set after another slow start from Williams. Yet, Williams fought back twice from a deficit to take the set 6-4; however, as we have seen so often from Williams, she lost her focus in the second set. Williams was in trouble the entire second set; thus, it was no surprise that she lost the set (at 4-5 down, the trainer came out to re-tape William’s right ankle).  She fell behind early again in the third set, still playing with little energy; however, losing the first game seemed to wake Williams up and she immediately broke back. Williams won 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 to get to her twelfth Wimbledon semifinal.

Getty Images Europe: Barbora Strycova

All eyes were on [19] Johanna Konta (GBR), who has been playing some of the best tennis of the season. She came out focused and took the early lead, completely in control of the set until her forehand broke down. Konta never regained her confidence and after dropping the first set in the tiebreak, it was Strycova, who took control of the match. The Czech did the unthinkable, she upset the British favorite and won 7-6(5), 6-1.

[50] Shuai Zhang (CHN) had never gotten past the first round at Wimbledon, and perhaps that was her undoing today. She had the early lead against Halep and just could not close out the first set; she lost the tiebreak and just like Konta, lost her belief and the match. Halep won 7-6(4), 6-1.

[68] Karolina Muchova (CZE) served for the first set and she was unable to win the set. Unfortunately, her grueling three set battle from yesterday had sapped her of her reserves and although she tried to fight back, she just could not. Svitolina won 7-5, 6-4.

Their Head-to-Head History

Svitolina leads their head-to-head, 4:3; however, they have never played each other on grass. Svitolina is coming back from a knee injury that has hampered her most of the 2019 season; thus, the odds will favor a victory for Halep. Yet, Svitolina is proving that the fight is still there and she will give everything she has to get to her first major final.

Getty Images Europe: Elina Svitolina

Williams leads their head-to-head 3:0; however, they have not played each other since 2017. Strycova is in form, and although she has never won a set from Williams, she has pushed her to a 5-7 set. Williams has had a spotty 2019 season, plagued by too many uncharacteristic losses and withdrawals due to injury. They played once on grass at Wimbledon in 2012 and Williams won 6-2, 6-4, but somehow, I think Strycova will offer up a lot more resistance in their semifinal encounter. When you get to your first major semifinal at thirty-three, you will leave everything on the court because you know you may never get back to another major semifinal and you want to make the most of the opportunity.

SOURCE OF IMAGES: Zimbio.com (main image: Getty Images Europe-Serena Williams)

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