Tennis Will Wimbledon Women's Semifinals Produce a Serena-Halep Final?

Will Wimbledon Women's Semifinals Produce a Serena-Halep Final?

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LONDON – After an hour and a half of exciting matches, compelling stories and exciting personalities (we miss you, Coco Gauff!), The women's semi-finals at Wimbledon are finally on us.

Thursday designed to be an epic day of tennis at the All England Club, with the 23-year-old Grand Slam champion Serena Williams taking the rebellious Barbora Strycova and former world champion No. 1 and 2018 French open champion Simona Halep facing a surging Elina Svitolina.

Who will come victorious and move on to Saturday's final? We can't tell the future, but here's what we know on the way in matchups, along with our predictions.

No. 11 Serena Williams vs Barbora Strycova (Unseen)

Head to head: Williams has won all three of their previous meetings, including at Wimbledon in 2012. They played last time in the fourth round of the Australian Open in 2017, where Williams steered off a straight-set winner on the way to her 23rd Grand Slam title .

Previous Wimbledon bests: Williams is a seven-hour Wimbledon champion and played last year when she lost to Angelique Kerber in even sets. This marks Strycova's first major semifinal appearance. Her previous best result at Wimbledon was a quarter-final race in 2014.

Forces: Where to start with Williams? The 37-year-old is good at so many things, but it was her great servant who really saved her in Tuesday's quarter-final victory over Alison Riske. Williams had 18 aces a day – including one to close the match. She leads all women in Wimbledon with 41 aces in the tournament so far and has also chopped the fastest server speed at 122 mph.

Strycova was down 4-1 in the first set Tuesday against Britain's Johanna Konta, who played in front of as hostile a crowd as you can get at Wimbledon. But she broke back to 4-3, then won the set in a tiebreak and dominated in the second set for the victory. Strycova does not appear to be fazed and she remains composed even when down. During this round at the All England Club, the 33-year-old eliminated four grafted players, including No. 4 Kiki Bertens, No. 21 Elise Mertens and Konta, No. 19 Seed, with its versatile game. She has been able to play at the moment against players considered the overwhelming favorite – something that could come very handy to Williams.

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weaknesses: Because of injuries, Williams has not played so much this season as she would have liked, and she is quick to point out her lack of current experience. Wimbledon is just her sixth tournament in 2019 and her only one on grass. This marks her first semifinal appearance of the year. She is worried about her lack of fighting and how it can affect her in a difficult competition.

But while Williams hasn't played much this season, Strycova hasn't played much in the second week of a big, ever. Inexperience at the sport's biggest stage, against the sport's biggest name, could be her ultimate downfall.

Best deals for now: "I certainly feel a lot more when I got older. Now that I'm older, I feel a little less pressure. I'm so serious. I certainly felt pressure, not so much when I was younger, and so older yes, yes yes.

"Now it's as if I've done everything I need to do. As I have had a good career, I don't feel so much more." – Williams

"Every day, even if I have a day off, I go around the court and see where I was playing when I was a junior and I'm proud of myself. This is my 17th time here and you're just trying to be happy. And I'm very happy about what I'm doing. "- Strycova

Biggest turnaround moment in their Wimbledon campaigns: Williams looked a little lost in the first set of his second round match Kaja Juvan, falling 6-2. But it was as if she needed the challenge to play at her best, and she reacted with a dominant performance the rest of the way. She did not lose another set before they played Riske on Tuesday.

Strycova was a set and beat 5-2 in the second against Mertens in the fourth round, but she found a way to pull the epic comeback back to a sentence winner in 2 hours and 21 minutes.

Fun facts (it probably won't have anything to do with the final result, but it will be great to tell your friends while you look):

  • Williams is 2-1 against players from the Czech Republic in big semifinals. She fell to Karolina Pliskova at the 2016 US Open at her last meeting.

  • Strycova was the world's No. 1 junior and won the 2002 and 2003 Australian Open junior titles.

  • Both Williams and Strycova had to play double matches after their singles win Tuesday – Williams in the second round mixed doubles with Andy Murray and Strycova with Su-Wei Hsieh in the third round of women's doubles.

odds: Williams -400 / Strycova +320 (according to Caesar's Sportsbook). Williams is also the odds of winning the title, while Strycova is +800.

predictions:

Pete Bodo: Williams has missed a lot of tennis this year, but she has a great capacity to make lost ground and get into difficult conditions without playing many games. Helped by a draw that really opened (people really called their neighborhood "the group of death" when the drawing was made?), She wants too much firepower and confidence in Strycova.

Simon Cambers: Now that she's in semis, don't expect Williams to blow this up. She has too much power for Strycova. Straight set for Serena.

Tom Hamilton: Williams is well prepared to add his eighth Wimbledon single title and should disregard Konta's conqueror, Strycova. But wait for this to go to three sets, with Williams's deadly backhand and recklessness with servants returning to see her into the final.

Maine: This is Williams' 12-semifinal look at Wimbledon. In the previous 11 she has only once advanced to the final. She knows what it takes to win, and while she says she feels she has nothing to prove, it seems clear how bad she wants to win Grand Slam No. 24. She is determined and potentially plays her best tennis since returning from maternity leave. Williams takes this in equal set.


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Simona Halep defeats Shuai Zhang in straight set 7-6, 6-1 to advance to the semifinals at Wimbledon.

No. 7 Simona Halep vs No. 8 Elina Svitolina

Head to head: Svitolina has a 4-3 career edge over Halep. However, Halep won their last meeting, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, in Doha earlier this year. They never played each other on grass.

Previous Wimbledon bests: This marks Halep's second semifinal clash at Wimbledon. She lost to Eugenie Bouchard in equal set in 2014. This is Svitolina's first big semifinal. Her previous best at the All England Club was a fourth round appearance in 2017.

Forces: Don't let Halep's 5-foot-6 frame fool you, she's a powerful hitter and technical sound across the board. She pulled 4-1 on Tuesday in the first set against Shuai Zhang, but the 27-year-old stormed back with intensity and decided to win in straight sets. She has often fought for grass, but says she is now more secure than ever on the surface – and it makes her clear that she is getting more dangerous.

Svitolina, 24, is often praised for her pure athleticism and versatility. She is quick, with a strong waiter, and she can change her game depending on the opponent.

weaknesses: Halep used to be criticized for her perceived mental frailty in tough moments at court, but she has hesitated many of her doubts since her French Open victory last season. Despite her great improvement in this area, however, she still has moments where she seems to be losing her edge.

Svitolina has struggled in recent months with a knee injury that required her to take time outside the clay high season. She seems to be cured, but since she has only had one fight, three sets so far in Wimbledon, it is hard to know how she would go for a long, terrible battle with so much on the line.

Watch Serena, Nadal and the rest of the Wimbledon action live from the All England Club. See all the actions on ESPN Networks

Best deals for now: "I started to feel more comfortable on the pitch (grass). I do not even slip in this tournament. Hope I will be the same in the next match. It is a little dangerous when you play on the grass because the feet are not really stable as you is on hard court or canvas, so I prefer these surfaces.

"But now I began to feel it getting in my hands, getting it in my legs and also in my mind, which is very important. I could do many things this tournament already to get the right to work for me , likes to play a little wider, then the ball slips a bit because it is a grass field. I just try to adjust myself, my body, to this court. I feel more confident now. Every time the ball comes to me, I am Want to know what to do about it, which is important. "- Halep

"You're just trying to think of different things. If you start thinking," OK, it's (min) the first time (playing in one) semifinal, (it's) like & # 39; Stop it & # 39; Like, & # 39; Stop it. Let's think about what to do for dinner. "- Svitolina

Biggest turnaround moment in their Wimbledon campaigns: As previously mentioned, Halep Zhang brought 4-1 in the first set of their quarterfinals, but she kept her cool and came back to win the set in a tie and then win the match.

Svitolina held two match players in the second set of her third round clash with Maria Sakkari before her opponent returned to win the second set. Despite the hiccup, Svitolina dominated the third set 6-2 for the win. She hasn't dropped a set since.

Fun facts (it probably won't have anything to do with the final result, but it will be great to tell your friends while you look):

  • Halep is a fan favorite – and has the prices to prove it. She won the WTA's most popular player of the year in 2014 and 2015, as well as the fan-cast Singles Player of the Year in 2017 and 2018.

  • Svitolina is the first Ukrainian woman to reach the semifinals on a larger side since the country declared its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

  • Halep has become number 1 in the world combined 64 weeks – 10th most in WTA history.

  • Svitolina is half of the most fun tennis account on Instagram – @GEMS, which she shares with her boyfriend, Gael Monfils.

  • Svitolina entered Wimbledon on a lost strip, falling into seven of her previous eight games. She had only one victory since Indian Wells in March – a first round win over Venus Williams in the French Open.

odds: Halep -220 / Svitolina +185 (according to Caesar's Sportsbook). Halep is also +170 to win the title, while Svitolina is +550.

predictions:

Bodo: Svitolina finally seems to have taken over her fear of majors and has played up to her potential at Wimbledon. But it will not be enough to stop Halep, a Grand Slam champion, who has lots of great stage experiences, a match-like game similar to Svitolina, but better, and a beginner's love of tennis courts.

cambers: Halep says she has learned to love grass and I believe in her. Svitolina will run everything down, but Halep has the class. Halep in wood.

Hamilton: Halep is back in the Wimbledon semi-finals for the first time since 2014, and she should comfortably watch Svitolina in straight sets. While most of the top seeds have gone down, Halep has kept his head and should continue his crescendo to the finals.

Maine: Between Halep's decision in her quarter-final match and her domination against crowd favorite Gauff in the fourth round, she seems somewhat invincible at the moment. Svitolina will give her a hard blow, but ultimately Halep in three.

Tennis (s) Serena Williams (t) espnw (s) espnw – sport (s) WTA (t) Simona Halep (t) Barbora Strycova (t) Elina Svitolina

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