Elena Rybakina in the fourth round of Wimbledon 2022, London, UK
Elena Rybakina in the fourth round of Wimbledon 2022, London, UK | (Photo by Robert Prange/Getty Images)

Tennis | Wimbledon 2024 | Former Grand Slam champions Rybakina and Krejcikova collide in semi-final showdown

By Tony Fairbairn at Wimbledon

  • Elena Rybakina [4] v Barbora Krejcikova [13]
  • Jasmine Paolini [7] v Donna Vekic
LONDON, ENGLAND – Former Grand Slam champions Elena Rybakina and Barbora Krejcikova will collide for a place in the Wimbledon semi-finals.


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Elena Rybakina [4] v Barbora Krejcikova [13] | H2H: Krejcikova leads 2-0    

A dominant performance for Elena Rybakina over Elina Svitolina means she is into a second Wimbledon semi-final. The Kazakh is the only player left in the draw who knows what it’s like to win a Wimbledon title and will now aim to take a step closer to winning a second Grand Slam title, two years after winning her first. Standing in Rybakina’s way is fellow Grand Slam champion Barbora Krejcikova who has quietly gone about her business and has a game well suited for grass as shown in her win over Jelena Ostapenko.

H2H & Match Fundamentals

Elena Rybakina [4] v Barbora Krejcikova [13]    H2H: Krejcikova leads 2-0    
Wimbledon 2024 London, England  
Grass (O) Prize Money: £715,000
Second on Centre Court (15:00 BST) BBC Sport

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After underperforming at recent Grand Slam events, Rybakina has found her confidence again on the grass as she has been dominant for most of the tournament.

Now Rybakina is the only former champion left in the draw as she aims to continue her dominant and inch closer to a second Grand Slam title.

Next for Rybakina is fellow Grand Slam champion Krejcikova as the Czech Republican survived a tough opening round against Veronika Kudermetova and since then has cruised into the semi-finals.

The 13th seed has a game well suited for grass and will aim to use her slice, power and efficiency at the net to reach a second Grand Slam final in singles.

Ahead of the semi-finals, Rybakina spoke about how she’s changed since her title win in 2022 and she’s the only former champion left in the draw.

“Well, of course it gives some confidence, but the same time it’s something which already passed. Everybody wants to win. Everybody’s going to fight. I will try not to think about the past and just focus on the next match,” Rybakina said in her press conference.

“Well, back then of course I was not expecting to be that far in the draw. Now with all the experience and with the time which passed of course I come and I want to be in this stage of the tournament. Yeah, just much more experienced player for sure now and know what to do. But there is nerves every time you go on the court. This is still the same, but I think I’m managing much better than before.

“In 2022 I was definitely more nervous than now. It was the first time for me to play on Centre Court. It was a lot of people, a lot of attention. Now, of course, I got used to it a little bit. I’m taking these matches in a different way.”

Meanwhile Krejcikova admitted she has surprised herself at this tournament as she prepares for a first Wimbledon semi-final.

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“It feels great. I’m very happy about it. Yeah, very honored that I can be here. I’m super happy about performances that I’m showing on the court,” Krejcikova said in her press conference.

“That I’m in a semifinals. I mean, yeah, I didn’t have really good season in between Australia and now. I was out. I was ill and injured, this and that. Always coming back and getting ill again. Coming back, getting ill. Going through very tough and difficult moments.

“I mean, like before Wimbledon, I only won two matches, so… Yeah, I mean, I didn’t really expect to get this far, and I’m really proud of myself for getting this far.”

Rybakina will continue to dominate on serve as the Kazakh hopes to use the forehand to show her power from the baseline.

Meanwhile Krejcikova will hope to pin the former Wimbledon champion behind the baseline as well as creating shorter balls in order to finish off points at the net.

Both players are in confident form and will not be nervous heading into this clash as this match will be down to who can play the bigger points better.

As the head-to-head suggests this will be a tough match for Rybakina but the Kazakh’s aggressive consistency on serve makes her slight favourite.

Prediction: Rybakina in three sets.   



Jasmine Paolini [7] v Donna Vekic  | H2H: Tied at 1-1

It’s a second consecutive Grand Slam semi-final for Jasmine Paolini as the Italian has proved she is more than competent on grass. Despite not having a WTA win on grass before this year, Paolini’s recent surge in confidence and form has seen her be a difficult nut to crack this year and will now aim for a first Wimbledon final. Next for Paolini will be Donna Vekic who has overcome injuries to reach a first Grand Slam semi-final after battling past qualifier Lulu Sun in the quarter-finals.

H2H & Match Fundamentals

Jasmine Paolini [7] v Donna Vekic      H2H: Tied at 1-1    
Wimbledon 2024 London, England  
Grass (O) Prize Money: £715,000
First on Centre Court (13:30 BST) BBC Sport

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Paolini is into a second consecutive Grand Slam semi-final after finally conquering the grass in what has been an impressive run at Wimbledon.

Now the Italian will aim to repeat her result in Paris and reach a maiden Wimbledon final, continuing her good form this season.

The next obstacle for Paolini is Vekic who is into a first Grand Slam semi-final having battled through mental and physical obstacles over the last few years.

As a result, the Croatian has the opportunity to fulfil her potential and reach her first Grand Slam final having gradually improved over the last couple of years.

Speaking after her quarter-final victory Paolini spoke about believing in her game more on grass and how she is moving so well on the surface.

“Yeah, maybe I didn’t realize before, but my coach was telling me that I could play well here. I wasn’t believing too much,” Paolini said in her press conference.

“I think also the last two years I played against Kvitova first round, so it was tough to believe it. Yeah, I felt great also in Eastbourne. I was hitting well the ball on this surface, moving well. I was repeating to myself, Okay, it’s nice to play on grass. You can play well. Yeah, I didn’t expect to do a semifinals here at all.

“I didn’t have to change nothing. I think I just have to adapt more because it’s slippery. I remember the first match I fell down. But yeah, it’s not easy to move on grass. You have to adapt a little bit. It’s also changing a little bit because the grass now, it’s a little bit more I think dry on the end, on the baseline.

“Yeah, I can say now that I’m feeling good on moving. I’m feeling more safe, as well.”

As for Vekic, the Croatian spoke about her injuries and how she refused to give up on her journey to becoming a Grand Slam semi-finalist.

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“Yeah, it was those couple of years were very tough. I didn’t think I was ever going to come back to the level that I even had last year,” Vekic explained in her press conference.

“So this now, reaching my best result ever at a slam, I’m really proud of myself, of the work that I’ve done, of the work that my team has done. I’m very thankful to them for believing in me when I didn’t.

“I mean, I guess to never give up. It’s not easy at times. Yeah, I had to really dig deep inside and push myself. But like I said, if I didn’t have the team of people around me, I don’t know how I would find the strength in me.”

Paolini will continue to be aggressive from the baseline as she aims to take the ball as early as possible.

Meanwhile Vekic will continue to serve well and dictate play on the forehand side as she will look to shorten the points.

This should be an interesting match with both players feeling the nerves given what is at stake in this match.

Paolini will enter slight favourite given her recent form but this match will be defined by tight margins and who can hold their nerve under pressure.

Prediction: Paolini in three sets.



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