Thursday brings semi-finals day for the women’s draw, with two-time champion Simona Halep joined by three women hoping to win their first. The first semi final is between two of those – third seed Ons Jabeur and Tatjana Maria. Jabeur was considered favourite from the moment Iga Swiatek lost although the rise of Halep on the other side of the draw has made things far less clear.
Maria is the story of the tournament, making her first slam semi final at the age of 34 and after having had two children. It also isn’t the result of a broken down draw with the German being the one that has done the damage. Her old-school game, with a lot of slicing included, has driven much more heralded players in Jelena Ostapenko and Maria Sakkari this week. She had to fight hard in her quarter final against Jule Niemeier, coming from a break down in the final set to eventually edge her fellow German 4-6 6-2 7-5.
Jabeur continues to roll this fortnight, with Marie Bouzkova her latest scalp. She started poorly but an early break in the second set meant this match was never all that competitive afterwards – eventually coming through 3-6 6-1 6-1. “I know it wasn’t easy playing Marie. She gets all the balls and doesn’t make, to win a point, easy for me. 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.” the Tunisian said after.
Maria has been more at home playing big hitting players who couldn’t handle her style of play, eventually producing enough errors to allow the German to pick them off. Jabeur has an all-round game equipped to deal with this much better than previous opponents, meaning this one could end very quickly if she avoids gifting points in the same way.
Prediction – Ons Jabeur in straight sets