Ons Jabeur had to survive a tough test to defeat Marie Bouzkova to reach the semi-finals but for the majority of the tournament has been irresistible as she looks to take a golden opportunity to win her maiden grand slam. Jabeur will look to make more history and become the first African to reach a Wimbledon final. Standing in her way is 34 year-old Tatjana Maria who is a surprise semi-finalist after defeating Maria Sakkari and Jelena Ostapenko on her way to a first grand slam semi-final.
Jabeur has been playing flawless tennis for the majority of the tournament as the Tunisian has recovered from her early Roland Garros exit in fine fashion. Now with Iga Swiatekout of the tournament, Jabeur will look to take a big opportunity and win her first grand slam and become the first African Wimbledon champion.
Next for Jabeur is good friend Maria who has played some incredible tennis and now at the age of 34 is into her first grand slam semi-final. Beating the likes of Ostapenko and Sakkari is now small feat and the German will be high in confidence, ready to make more history at SW19.
Speaking in her press conference Jabeur admitted she was tight to start the match against Bouzkova and is glad she upped her game when she needed to:
“I think I played really good from beginning of the second set, especially having a early break kind of helps me gain me the confidence,” Jabeur said.
“I’m glad I stepped in with my game. I was more aggressive in the second set, and especially tactically I was playing some angles that she didn’t like much. Just like I think I was really tight at the beginning of the first set, and I didn’t make my shots. I wasn’t feeling like it was me really playing. Maybe my sister was. I’m not sure. But I’m happy that I was serving maybe a little bit better, stepping on the court, and that’s me waking up, really.”
As for Maria she always believed she could be in a grand slam semi-final but the fact she’s achieved it at 34 years-old is crazy for her:
“Before, I mean, I did it one time a third round here. And in the other Grand Slam I never pass the second round. Now I’m in the semi-final of Wimbledon,” Maria said.
“I mean, I always believed that I have something inside, I mean, that I can do this. I always believed in this, but to be now here in this spot… I mean, like I said, one year ago I gave birth to my second daughter. If somebody would tell me one year later you are in a semi-final of Wimbledon, that’s crazy.”
Jabeur will look to continue to use a mixture of power and slices to neutralise the rallies and find the angles in the court. While Maria will need to serve well and continue causing opponents problems with her shot selection and variety.
This will be a fun match full of slices and unique shot choices, the experience of Jabeur will give her the slight edge as her inspired tennis warrants a place in the final but it will be no easy task against Maria who has aspirations of her own.
Simona Halep has destroyed everyone in her path so far at the Wimbledon as she now enters the semi-final stage on a 12 match winning streak at SW19. Now Halep looks to claim her third grand slam title at the scene of her last one back in 2019. Facing Halep in the last four is Elena Rybakina who has taken advantage of an open section of the draw to power past her opponents and reach her first grand slam semi-final.
Halep has rediscovered her form and has looked immense through her run at Wimbledon as she looks to repeat her 2019 success. The Romanian has achieved statement wins over Paula Badosa and Amanda Anisimova as she will believe that she is the firm favourite to win a second Wimbledon title.
As for Rybakina, she has taken her aggressive tennis to the grass courts of SW19 and finally achieved the success her game warrants on this surface. The Kazakh overcame a stern test against Ajla Tomljanovic in the last round and has the free-flowing game that can power past any player’s defensive skillset.
Halep told the press conference after her quarter-final that she was mentally ready to play two days in a row and is happy to be back in the semis:
“I feel super happy about it. I struggled a lot, as I said many times. Now being in the semis of a Grand Slam, it means a lot,” Halep told the press.
“I will take it. I will give myself the credit that I’ve been really good this period of two, three months. I work hard. It’s just joy to be back in the semi-final of a Grand Slam really.
“I feel good physically. Mentally, as well. Yeah, I feel ready for tomorrow. Is the same thing for her, she played today also. So, yeah, I’m not thinking about these things. I’m just thinking that I have a very nice chance to play semis in Wimbledon.”
Meanwhile Rybakina told the press that preparation was the key to success and she’s looking forward to the semi-final against Halep:
“I’m just going to try to do my best, try to enjoy because, I mean, I’m playing against a great champion,” Rybakina said.
“We had tough battles before. I hope that I can show my best and is going to go my way. I think I did my best, as I said. I wasn’t in the greatest physical conditions, didn’t have good preparation. But overall I think I did my best. It’s just for me still keep improving, working. Tomorrow I just try to enjoy.”
Halep will look to use her counter-attacking qualities to put Rybakina in uncomfortable positions and use the angles to create effective winners in the court. While Rybakina will look to serve big and create short, big-hitting points putting Halep under pressure from the start of the match. The slower Centre Court will favour Halep but just like their previous encounters this will go to the distance as both players are in very confident form.
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