Wimbledon is down to the final four women with 2 interesting matchups on paper in the semi finals. Garbine Muguruza is the bookmakers favourite to win it all with her opponent Magdalena Rybarikova bottom of the back. The Slovakian is on the run of her career, making her first grand slam semi final not long after a lengthy injury layoff.
Rybarikova’s funky playing style has given nightmares to some of the biggest hitters on the tour over this fortnight with both Karolina Pliskova and now Coco Vandeweghe going by the wayside. Vandeweghe had a nightmare from start to finish, serving 7 double faults to 1 ace while her 30 unforced errors were never going to get it done against a solid Rybarikova. She only allowed the American one break opportunity and while it was taken, she did break serve on four occasions herself. This run is the continuation of a stunning run through the ITFs that helped her back to the top 100, with 2 grass titles amongst her haul over the past few months. “Wimbledon is my favorite Grand Slam, that’s for sure. Also playing on grass, it’s my favorite surface. I really enjoy playing on grass.” she said. “I’ve been playing very well on grass. I’ve won Birmingham. Now I won two titles, ITF I made semifinals in Nottingham, and I won against good players. I was still believing I could do well here. Third round was for me already good. I’m not used to playing semifinal, obviously. Right now what is happening, it’s just a dream. I’m so, so grateful for this opportunity to be in the semifinal.”
Muguruza has had to beat the 1st and 7th seeds in the past two rounds to make the semis and hence way out performing her No.14 seeding. However, it’s fair to say that Angelique Kerber in particular has not looked like a top 20 player for much of the year, never mind the No.1 player. Nonetheless she pushed Muguruza all the way in round four which put the Spaniard in a good frame of mind for the quarter finals having fought through that match previously.
She had it fairly comfortable against Svetlana Kuznetsova, breaking the Russian once in each set for a 6-4 6-3 victory to move one step away from her second Wimbledon final. “I’m very happy and very pleased also with this match, because obviously Kuznetsova is a very tough opponent. We all know she has been and is a great player. I managed to play a good level during all the match. I earned the victory.” Muguruza lost to Serena Williams on that occasion and may well find herself on the other side of the court from her sister this time round. “She’s obviously one of the best players out there. She obviously knows how to play under pressure and in the big stage tournaments. That’s also good for her.” she said, commenting on the elder of this Wimbledon women’s draw.
There is a great story for each of the four women left in the draw should they win but it does have a feel that the champion will come from the other side of the draw. Rybarikova is rightly the underdog but has shown multiple times she can deal with the ultra aggressive players and that should see her feel confident that she has a chance of upsetting the odds and making the final.
Prediction – Magdalena Rybarikova in three sets