Tuesday defined women’s semifinal pairs at Wimbledon: we’ll have Serena Williams facing Julia Goerges and Angelique Kerber playing Jelena Ostapenko. The semis feature three Grand Slam champions, with only Goerges, one of the most improved players in the last 12 months, yet to win a major title, while Williams has triumphed at Wimbledon as many as seven times.
Opening Tuesday’s action on Center Court, German 11th seed Angelique Kerber, the highest seed left in the women’s singles draw, beat Daria Kasatkina 6-3 7-5. Kerber dominated the first set and went 3-1 up in the second when Kasatkina grew in confidence and leveled to 3-3. Actually, Kasatkina broke back the first three times Kerber went up in the second set, including when the former world No.1 served for the match at 5-4. Eventually, Kerber won the encounter with an epic final game on her seventh match point.
While Kerber was playing her quarterfinal, her next opponent Jelena Ostapenko, seeded 12th, beat Dominika Cibulkova 7-5 6-4 on Court 1. Sticking to her game plan focused on big hitting and aggression, Ostapenko overpowered her opponent by recording 33 winners to Cibulkova’s mere 6. Cibulkova’s 100% (3/3) break point conversion didn’t help much against Ostapenko’s precise dominance that left Cibulkova watching balls fly past her. By the way, Ostapenko was the only last year’s Wimbledon quarterfinalist who also made it to the final eight this year.
Serena Williams had a mighty opponent in unseeded Italian Camila Giorgi on Center Court, rallying to dispatch the gutsy Italian 3-6 6-3 6-4. In the first set, Giorgi was not at all intimidated by the biography of her opponent, winning 84% of points on first serve and even hitting more aces than the big-serving American. Actually, Giorgi’s average serve speed was higher than Williams’ in each set, but in the second and third sets the 25th-seeded Williams lifted the intensity and allowed her opponent no break point opportunities.
Serena’s upcoming opponent, 13th seed Julia Goerges, who had been defeated in the first round of Wimbledon five times in a row before this year, beat Kiki Bertens 3-6 7-5 6-1 to reach her first Grand Slam semifinal.