The last four is all set in singles after women’s quarter-finals day at Wimbledon. I went back to work this morning and have just one final afternoon of holiday to watch the semi-finals on Thursday! This post reviews the four quarter-finals, and also features media highlights of the day. Read on for Tuesday’s Set Points post from day 8 of Wimbledon 2019.
Match reviews 🎾
(11) Serena Williams d. Alison Riske, 6-4 4-6 6-3
Serena Williams ended the courageous run of Alison Riske, winning an exciting three setter on Centre Court. I thought Riske’s celebration on Monday after beating Ashleigh Barty was quite understated, almost of the tone of “bring on the next one”! Riske started this quarter-final brightly, twice going up a break in the first set. However, Serena started to zone on the return and played a sensational service game at *4-4.
As has been confirmed on numerous occasions this tournament, Riske never gives up and never stops fighting. She did so well at getting Serena on the move and in uncomfortable positions. Riske’s return was again superb today – she found the line with a return on break point at 4-3 before breaking with a volley winner. Riske confidently served out the second set.
The decider was a really gripping affair and the Centre Court crowd seemed to really embrace this match. Serena played one of her most convincing service holds of the entire match at *3-3. Riske came under pressure in her next service game and saved the second and third break points with bold, gutsy second serves. She couldn’t do it on the fourth going wide with a double fault but I respected that she went for it and knew she had to up against the Serena return. Serena served out the win to reach yet another Wimbledon semi-final. The American served 19 aces and I generally loved her use of angles which remains an underrated strength in her game.
(8) Elina Svitolina d. Karolina Muchova, 7-5 6-4
Elina Svitolina is into her first Slam semi-final… and at Wimbledon 😲. Svitolina survived an early barrage of peak Muchova play, rallying from 2-5 down in the first set to win five straight games. Svitolina didn’t panic when Muchova was dialled in and dictating at the net. Svitolina improved her depth and played a bit more aggressively. The game at 5-5 in the first set was nuts. Muchova saved four break points, all with fantastic winners, but just wasn’t consistent enough with a few too many unforced errors.
Muchova faded in the second set and wasn’t able to exploit Svitolina’s second serve. There was a late flurry from Muchova including another hot shot volley winner but Svitolina steadied herself and managed to serve out the match at the second time of asking. I’m really happy for Elina to finally make that breakthrough at a Slam and reach the final four. When you least expect it, Svitolina seems to enjoy some of her best results. As i’ve said before, I think Muchova is the real deal. She’s still relatively inexperienced on the tour and at this stage of Slams so i’m excited to watch her progress over the next few years.
(7) Simona Halep d. Zhang Shuai, 7-6(4) 6-1
Simona Halep rallied from a first set deficit to beat a fast-starting, Zhang Shuai. Halep saved four break points down *1-4 in the first set as Zhang came out firing winners all over the shop. The sixth game was the turning point as Halep got stuck in, chasing everything down and playing with better depth as she prevented Zhang from unloading. Halep increasingly began to control the points with relentless baseline aggression. Zhang started to miss a bit more as Halep forced her to take risks earlier in the rallies. Halep won the first set on the tiebreak and then rolled through the second set.
Early into this match, it looked like one of those days where Halep was going to get completely hit off the court. I thought she competed well and managed to halt Zhang’s rhythm. Once in control of the match, Halep never let up, making just 13 unforced errors for the entire match. Halep was also helped with her serve as she landed 76% of first serves in.
Barbora Strycova d. (19) Johanna Konta, 7-6(5) 6-1
The final match of the day produced the only “upset” of the four quarter-finals as Barbora Strycova produced a typically bamboozling display on the grass to beat Johanna Konta in straight sets. Strycova made life so awkward for Konta who was mostly error-strewn from the middle of the first set. It was just not Jo’s day.
Strycova returned exceptionally well and neutralised Konta’s serve which has been a real weapon for her over the past few months. Curiously, Konta won more points behind her second serve (64%) than the first serve (51%). Strycova slowed down the pace and took the buzz out of her opponent and the crowd to claim a historic win.
Stat watch 🔢
Halep’s grass-court pedigree never really gets mentioned but her record at Wimbledon is decent as she’s reached the last eight in Wimbledon in three of her last four appearances. Svitolina and Strycova have both broken new ground to reach their first ever Slam semi-finals. Meanwhile, Serena is into her 12th (!) Wimbledon semi-final.
Point of the day 👏
A great point in the first set of Zhang-Halep.
Hot shot of the day 🔥
Muchova played some fabulous points at the net today 😍.
Handshakes and hugs 🤗
A nice moment at the net between Simona Halep and Zhang Shuai. The Chinese player had some lovely words about Simona in press via WTA Insider.
Super snap 📸
Love this shot of a jumping-for-joy, Elina!
Recommended media 📺
Jo Konta’s press conference is linked below. The tone of one of the journalists at 3:30 was completely out of order.
WTA News 📰
Garbiñe Muguruza has
finally parted ways with coach, Sam Sumyk. Fascinated to see who Garbi pairs up with next…
Thursday’s OOP ⭐
Thursday’s semi-finals are all set. Who you got?