In scenes reminiscent of 2013, the womens draw has been ripped open with Serena Williams, Li Na, Agnieszka Radwanska, Victoria Azarenka and now Maria Sharapova all out of the tournament. Petra Kvitova and Lucie Safarova will contest the first of the women’s semi-finals on Thursday, but the second one is still undecided. Both womens quarter-finals from the top half look fascinating on paper. I’d love to hear your thoughts on these two quarter-finals so please vote in the polls and leave your thoughts in the comments section!
Poll Results: 23% correctly went for Kerber to beat Sharapova and 86% correctly predicted that Lisicki would beat Shvedova.
Fantasy Tennis Update: Jared Pine is still miles ahead, followed by Cosima_N and Ma01dp, which happens to be my Brother… not impressed. I’m in 5th place so still time to catch up!
TFF DreamTeam Update: The top three is the same as woo leads the way with Ray in 2nd place and julygrass in 3rd place.
1. Simona Halep v Sabine Lisicki
Sabine Lisicki booked her place in the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the fifth consecutive time. Lisicki missed the tournament in 2010 through injury, but excluding that result, her record at Wimby has been nothing short of remarkable. On tour, there is no stronger and deeper love affair between one player and a tournament. To further cement this thought, Lisicki has never made it past the fourth round at any of the other three Grand Slams. Sabine was not entirely convincing in her fourth round match, but I always felt she had the edge over an equally shaky, Yaroslava Shvedova. Lisicki was struggling with a shoulder injury, which likely contributed to a whopping 20 double faults. She took a MTO during a game, which caused a little furore on social media. I wasn’t watching the match at the time. In the end, her determination pulled her through and she won, 6-3 3-6 6-4.
Lisicki will play first time Wimbledon quarter-finalist, Simona Halep. After a rough performance in the second round against Lesia Tsurenko where she lost her only set of the Championships, Halep has found some of her best form. She has taken out two talented WTA prospects, Belinda Bencic in the third round (6-4 6-1) and Zarina Diyas in the fourth round (6-3 6-0 ). Before the 2014 season had started, Halep had never made it past the fourth round at a Grand Slam. This year she has achieved that feat on three occasions. She has had a very favourable draw at Wimby, but she’s snapped up her opportunity, which is all she can do.
Halep and Lisicki played earlier this year in Madrid; it was actually one of Lisicki’s best performances of the year as she took the opening set, but lost 5-7 6-3 6-2. Lisicki showed her vulnerability against Shvedova and I don’t think she will be able to do that again against Halep if she wants to progress. Considering her form coming into Wimbledon, Sabine has had another remarkable Wimbledon. Only on one occasion (in Madrid) had she won two matches at the same tournament and she’s won four here! In my opinion, Halep will end Sabine’s dream for another year.
Prediction: Halep d. Lisicki in 2 tight sets
1. Eugenie Bouchard v Angelique Kerber
In the best match of the tournament so far, Angelique Kerber summoned some stunning tennis to oust Maria Sharapova, 7-6(4) 4-6 6-4 in two hours and 37 minutes. You can read my full recap of the match HERE. To sum it up in one sentence, Kerber was frigging awesome. It was a brutal match for Kerber, both physically and mentally, which will give an immediate edge to her quarter-final opponent, Eugenie Bouchard, who had a day off after completing her fourth round match against Alize Cornet on Monday. Genie was certainly not at her best against Cornet, but showed the greater nerve and poise to edge a very tight two setter, 7-6(5) 7-5.
Bouchard and Kerber played earlier this month in the fourth round of the French Open. Bouchard absolutely dismantled Kerber, 6-1 6-2, who seemed to be at her lowest ebb. I wrote a recap about that French Open match HERE. It’s astonishing how things can change in such a short space of time in tennis. Kerber is in a much better place now and is also more comfortable on the grass compared to the clay courts of Roland Garros. Bouchard has become a winning machine, particularly when she is not playing at her best. I wasn’t impressed with her tennis on Monday, but the way she won certainly was.
This match will come down to how Kerber responds after a career best victory over Sharapova. That performance against Maria was just majestic. I say Kerber keeps rolling.
Prediction: Kerber d. Bouchard in 3 sets