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  • Chris Sobey

Tennis


It’s day ten of the 2019 Wimbledon championships and that means women’s quarter finals day. Eleventh seed and seven-time champion Serena Williams is still on course to reach her eleventh Wimbledon final and she faces the only remaining unseeded player, veteran Czech Strycova. Serena leads the head-to-head 3-0, all three wins came in straight sets at Grand Slam level, twice at the Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2012 and once in 2017 at the Australian Open.

Strycova will no doubt give Serena a run for her money today given the level she is playing at, however, she has not faced anyone with the power and mental strength of Serena so far this fortnight and the pressure of contesting a first Grand Slam semi-final on Wimbledon centre court will no doubt get to Strycova at some stage during the match. If this occurs Serena will no doubt capitalise on any weakness in Strycova’s game and as long as the occasion doesn’t get to the twenty-four-time Grand Slam champion, it should be a straight sets win for Serena.

The other semi-final between seventh seed Halep and eighth seed Svitolina, who is contesting her first Grand Slam semi-final, looks like a much more closer contest on paper as the two have met eight times on the WTA tour, the head-to-head stands at 4-4 and this is their first meeting on grass and at Wimbledon. Halep has more experience at this level, this is her seventh Grand Slam semi-final, but the main negative is that she’s only won one Grand Slam during this period with nerves clearly stopping her winning more.

Halep will need to overcome any fear and nerves she has during this match if she is going to succeed today and it doesn’t look like an easy match on paper as Svitolina has a good record against her, including winning three of the last four encounters between 2017 and 2019. Svitolina is bound to experience nerves as well as this is her first ever Slam semi-final and hopefully, for her, she won’t experience the same result as their 2017 French Open quarter final encounter when Svitolina lead by a set and a break, but like Halep as experienced at the latter stages at Slam level, nerves got the better of Svitolina and she went on to lose 3-6 7-6 6-0.


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