For a tournament that has seen its fair-share of giant-killing and general zaniness, the women’s semifinals at Wimbledon 2019 are perhaps surprisingly tame in their composition. Only Barbora Strycova remains as a true outlier, while Elina Svitolina, Simona Halep, and of course, Serena Williams, have all long been among the game’s elite — and yet, there’s still room for another plot twist (or twelve) yet.

Will Svitolina, for so long unable to clear the hurdle of a major quarterfinal, get past the semis at her first attempt? Or will Halep be able to reverse her decline that started here last year? Will Strycova be able to keep the fairytale going? Or will Serena take another step closer to number 24?

Whatever the story will be, we’re about to find out. Read on for a look at both matches on day 10 of the championships.

Elina Svitolina (UKR) [8] v Simona Halep (ROU) [7] – First on Centre Court

If you’re a fan of knock-down, drag-’em-out, baseline tennis, well… do we have the match for you. Always a particularly hard-fought affair, Svitolina versus Halep is also an incredibly hard match to predict, both because of the narrow 4-3 split (to Svitolina) in the head-to-head, and because as we’ve already seen this year in their classic in Doha, they’re capable of momentum swings that rival anything found at a table in Vegas. Considering both women will be trying to grind-out the other, baseline positioning will be key here, with Halep looking to build pressure by stepping into forehands and Svitolina doing the same on backhands, but really, there isn’t a result you can take off the table here – holding nerve will be as important as outplaying the opponent, and if only because of experience, you have to give the overall edge to the Romanian.

Serena Williams (USA) [11] v Barbora Strycova (CZE) – Second on Centre Court

Already the enemy of the British public after downing Jo Konta in the quarters, Barbora Strycova now gets a chance to earn the enmity of both sides of the pond when she takes on Serena Williams. That said, this is a match Serena simply shouldn’t lose – 3-0 lifetime against the Czech, Strycova is yet win a single set, and while her tenacious game was enough to submit a frustrated Konta in their semi-final, the American simply plays too big for her to have the same success — not to mention, making Serena angry would probably only make things worse. To be fair though, Serena definitely hasn’t looked like her dominant self this tournament, and if she struggles to maintain a consistent level, Strycova is highly unlikely to gift the match back to her – maybe that’s enough to give her hope of an upset, I just really wouldn’t bet on it.


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