It is semi-final day at Wimbledon on Thursday with the ladies up first to attempt to book their spot in the final of the women’s event on Saturday as four players take to the court knowing they are two wins away from a first title at SW19.
We have two unseeded players meeting in one of the semi-finals and then the other one sees two of the best in the game going at it over what should be a really tense and dramatic afternoon of tennis in the capital.
Elina Svitolina vs Marketa Vondrousova
The opening semi-final sees the Ukrainian huge story of the Championships in Elina Svitolina going up against arguably even more of a surprise package in the form of the Czech player Marketa Vondrousova with both looking for a spot in a maiden Wimbledon final.
Svitolina has gone through this crazy run of Grand Slam champions to make it to this semi-final. All five opponents she has disposed of have previously won a major title apart from one and Elise Mertens has won plenty of doubles crowns so finally she gets to face someone who hasn’t. Vondrousova has made a final before though but couldn’t convert in the French Open. This is a different thing entirely but she deserves to be in this semi-final after emphatically beating the talented Marie Bouzkova in the last 16 and the clean hitting Jessica Pegula in the quarter final. I’m a little surprised that Svitolina is the outsider in this match. She has been gaining crowd support throughout the competition. I suspect some of that is due to being Ukrainian but her tennis has actually merited the support she has been getting and at her best I think she was always the better player of the two. Svitolina looks to be playing something close to her best tennis and her variety and defensive skills can see her come out on top in what could be a really compelling semi-final.
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Ons Jabeur vs Aryna Sabalenka
The warm-up act looks great but the main event could be a special semi-final as the beaten finalist of a year ago takes on the Australian Open champion as Ons Jabeur meets Aryna Sabalenka in a very tasty looking contest where a clash in styles collide.
Jabeur has the variety and the touch and silky skills and she puts that up against what is pure power and brute force in the way Sabalenka goes about her tennis. The good thing for Jabeur is that she has just taken care of two clean and powerful hitters of a ball in Petra Kvitova and Elena Rybakina so she should come into this match fully prepared for the barrage of big hitting which will come her way. The problem the Tunisian has is I think Sabalenka is playing better and hitting the ball better than both of those previous opponents. There was a real ominous look about the way that the Belarusian took care of Madison Keys in the quarter final and in the last two rounds Sabalenka has dropped just 10 games against two players who have won grass court events this season. The other thing which could be a factor is Jabeur was on court around an hour longer than Sabalenka on Wednesday and this is the semi-final with the short turnaround. I’m full of respect for Jabeur so I’m not going to bet on this match but if I was to I expect Sabalenka to win but she’s priced to do exactly that.
Back E.Svitolina to beat M.Vondrousova for a 3/10 stake at 2.10 with William Hill
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