Sabalenka, Pliskova, Kerber, Barty reach Wimbledon semifinals

Wilson Blade 9

Aryna Sabalenka, Karolina Pliskova, Angelique Kerber and Ashleigh Barty are the last four women standing at Wimbledon 2021. Three of them are Top 8 seeds, while the 25th-seeded Kerber is the only former champion, having triumphed in London in 2018.

Second seed Aryna Sabalenka advanced to her maiden Grand Slam semifinal with a 6-4 6-3 win over Ons Jabeur, the first Arab woman contesting the quarterfinals at Wimbledon after well-earned victories over as many as three major champions (Venus Williams, Garbine Muguruza and Iga Swiatek).

Jabeur’s one and only break point opportunity in the first set was in a five-minute opening game. After that, eight games went with serve and in the tenth game Sabalenka converted her fifth set point when the Tunisian netted.

The Belarusian was always ahead in the second set and made a crucial break in the eighth game, before saving a break point and then converting her first match point with a backhand down the line.

Sabalenka’s next opponent will be eighth seed Karolina Pliskova, who has now completed her career of Grand Slam semifinals. The Czech defeated Switzerland’s Viktorija Golubic 6-2 6-2 and has yet to drop a set in the tournament.

Germany’s Angelique Kerber notched a convincing 6-2 6-3 win over Karolina Muchova in front of full-capacity crowd. Having won the Bad Homburg Open in her home country last month, Kerber has now accumulated ten consecutive victories on grass courts.

In the first all-Australian women’s Grand Slam quarterfinal since 1980, Ashleigh Barty crushed Ajla Tomljanovic 6-1 6-3 to set up a meeting with Kerber.

In the first set, Barty won six consecutive games, three of which were to love. This dominance seems very strange when we take into account that Barty’s first serve percentage was just 25% in the opening set. The unseeded Tomljanovic was much stronger in the second set, but Barty outweighed her opponent’s two breaks with three of her own and earned her most convincing victory of the tournament so far to reach her first Wimbledon semifinal.

The ladies’ singles semifinals will take place on Thursday.


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