While Serena Williams is the overwhelming favourite to win her Wimbledon semi-final, the other one is extremely hard to call as Elina Svitolina faces Simona Halep for a spot in what would be the first Wimbledon Women’s final for either play. Svitolina was a finalist in the Girls Singles in 2012, losing to Eugenie Bouchard in straight sets.
Despite that run, Svitolina’s pro career has not produced much success on the grass. She had made the fourth round one just once in six main draw attempts and lost in the first round three times, including last year. An early exit would have been on the cards this time with her poor form following a return from injury but she has found another level to get to the last four here. She will have been relieved to come through in straight sets against Karolina Muchova on Tuesday, especially after being down a break in the opening set of her 7-5 6-4 win. “It feels amazing, but I try to don’t think so much about it any more as I was trying to not think so much about that I couldn’t get the win before in quarterfinals. So the tournament continues,” Svitolina said as she ended her losing streak in slam quarter finals. “I think I learned to be patient because I had lots of tough matches in quarterfinala. Few of them was very unlucky, I was not fit 100%.
Halep has had some lows at Wimbledon but now finds herself back in the semi finals for the first time since 2014. She also won in straight sets against Shuai Zhang but almost went down a double break in the opener before cruising to a 7-6 6-1 win. “I expected her to play so well. She beat me the last two times that we played. I was a little bit nervous before the match, a little bit stressed. I knew that she’s going to come and hit the balls very strong,” Halep said after the match. “I kept fighting. I knew that I have to be 100% for every ball, then I will break her rhythm a little bit. It happened in the second set.”
While both women have spent long periods in the top 5, neither would have been seen as a strong contender for the Wimbledon title before the tournament – with their best performances always coming elsewhere. The slower courts look to have worked wonders for the pair, especially Halep who has been vulnerable to power hitters in the past at this tournament. Svitolina does lead the head to head 4-3 and has won three of the last four but did lose a tight one in their only meeting in 2019, falling in three in the Doha semi final.
Prediction – Elina Svitolina in three sets