2021 Wimbledon, Quarter-Final Highlights: Barty, Kerber, Pliskova & Sabalenka last four standing

The quarter-finals were all done and dusted in straight sets and just four players remain to battle it out for the Venus Rosewater Dish. We’ve got the top two seeds and two former world number ones including a former Wimby champ. Can’t ask for much more than that. Today was my last full day of holiday for Wimby. It’s been a fun few weeks. I missed this so much last year!!! Read on for Tuesday’s diary from Wimbledon.

Day 8️⃣ Highlights

(2) Aryna Sabalenka d. (21) Ons Jabeur, 6-4 6-3

This was my favourite of the four quarter-finals. Centre Court was buzzing! It was shaping up to be one of the matches of the tournament in the first set. Sadly it rather petered out as a contest in the second set as Sabalenka’s raw power overcame Jabeur’s craft in straight sets.

The first set was grass court tennis at it’s best with some clutch serving from both players. Serving at *4-5, Jabeur’s first serve went walkabouts and it opened the door for Sabalenka who produced some spectacular returns. Four set points went by the wayside as Sabalenka kept missing the final shot but fifth time was the charm.

Sabalenka was always ahead in the second set and it was the return that continued to be a pivotal play, much like her previous match with Elena Rybakina. Jabeur won just 30% of points behind her second serve. Jabeur fought valiantly to get back in the match and had some openings. Sabalenka’s focus was unwavering. As is so often the case, Sabalenka has gone on and broken a second barrier and is now into her first Slam semi-final!

(8) Karolina Pliskova d. Viktorija Golubic, 6-2 6-2

Without doubt, this was the best match i’ve seen Pliskova play this year. Pliskova has now completed her career of Slam semi-finals and she’s the only player remaining yet to have dropped a set.

Through the first four games, this was shaping up to be a great match. Close games and extended rallies with Golubic more than holding her own. From 2-2 in the first set, the match was mostly one-way traffic. Pliskova was imperious on serve, winning 83% of points behind her first serve. Pliskova was aggressive on return. The Czech player missed some returns in the first two Golubic service games, going for a bit too much, but it soon paid off as she ultimately exposed the Golubic serve. And I think most impressive of all was Pliskova’s movement, tracking down balls and hitting aggressively which is something that I feel has been lacking over the past few years.

Golubic mounted some late resistance in the final two games of the match. Pliskova was not to be deterred as she saved three break points (all with first serves in play) in a six deuce game at *4-2 and then broke Golubic’s serve for the win in a final four deuce game.

(25) Angelique Kerber d. (19) Karolina Muchova, 6-2 6-3

I bigged up Kerber-Muchova to the high heavens and ohhhhh it was a damp squib 😭😂. It was another supremely solid display from Kerber who rallied a break down in the second set to win rather comfortably in the end.

I thought Muchova had a bit of a shocker. The Czech player came out flat again and with strapping on her thigh. In previous matches, she’s managed to find a way but that was never going to cut it against a player of Kerber’s quality on grass. Muchova’s forehand, normally a huge weapon, was completely out-of-sorts. Muchova did manage to produce the shot of the match with an incredible stab volley in the penultimate game. It wasn’t enough though to change the outcome as Kerber served out the match, saving a break point in the process.

Too good from Kerber as she advances to her fourth Wimbledon semi-final. It’s uplifting to see Angie playing so well.

(1) Ash Barty d. Ajla Tomljanovic, 6-1 6-3

Ash Barty completed the quartet of straight set matches on Tuesday as she advanced to her first ever Wimbledon semi-final! I think this was Ash’s most convincing display of the tournament so far and the forehand was on song. There are still areas to work on though. Crazy stat of the day – Barty won the first set, 6-1 with just 25% of first serves in play!

In all four of Barty’s matches, she’s had a stumble in the second set where she was leading by a set and a break and then lost the break initiative. In the case of her first round against Carla Suárez Navarro, she ended up losing the second set. In the other three matches, she broke again to win in straights. In all four matches, she dealt with the setback and managed to reset, get back on track and come through in the end. It’s been a fine effort from Ash to reach the last four with all the uncertainty that surrounded her prior to the tournament with the hip injury.

Best point  🎾

This was an incredible point!

Hot shot 🔥

Rough day for Muchova but this volley was insane! Tennis GIFs on Twitter this week has been awesome 👏 .

H&H 🤗

Niceee!

Snap of the day 📸

Peter’s pictures are the best.

Recommended reading 📚

A statement from Emma Raducanu after last night’s match.

Day 10 watchlist 📺

Thoughts about Thursday’s semi-finals will go up on the separate page here.

(1) Ash Barty vs. (25) Angelique Kerber

(2) Aryna Sabalenka vs. (8) Karolina Pliskova

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10 thoughts on “2021 Wimbledon, Quarter-Final Highlights: Barty, Kerber, Pliskova & Sabalenka last four standing

  1. Very pleased that Emma Raducanu is ok😁

    I thought that all of the 4 matches were disappointing but I can’t expect great tennis matches every day at Wimbledon.

    I watched Pliskova defeat Vekic last week in the 2nd round and the commentator Joe Durie said that Pliskova looked impressive and could go deep into this event and she was right. I never liked Jabeur that much in the past but that was before I saw her play on grass and she has been great to watch this year at Wimbledon.

    I am looking forward to Barty/Kerber on Thursday which has the potential to be a great match. I see that Kerber has won 3 of their 5 previous matches against each other but none of them have been played on grass….could be interesting🤔

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    • I have this feeling that Barty-Kerber could be a classic and the match of the tournament. Then again, I thought the same of Kerber-Muchova and it was a dud!

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      • You may well just get it. If anyone is good for a classic, Kerber is the player. I’m keeping my expectations low given how the two semifinals are split up with effectively grounded counter punchers up top and boom boom power down below. Would be lovely if the bottom two also served up a Venus-Davenport like grass classic. Nail biting third set tie breaker. Is that asking for too much?! 😆 Like Naomi Osaka inferred earlier in the year, I think I should make such feelings known to Sabalenka rather than Pliskova.

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  2. Pliskova is the biggest surprise for me in this tournament. This is what we expected from her four years ago. At this point, I never thought we’d see it.

    The quarter finals sounded disappointing (I didn’t get a moment to watch today) but I’m loving the sound of these semi finals! I’m going to go against the grain and back Barty and Pliskova. Bring it on.

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    • Didn’t see this coming from Pliskova, especially as she hadn’t won on grass this year. I’m still a tad wary because she’s so been thoroughly unconvincing all year! Yes the quarter-finals were disappointing. The first set of Sabalenka-Jabeur was the best tennis of the day. Hopeful the semis will be better. I’m going for Barty-Sabalenka but i really do think they could go either way.

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      • If Sabalenka brings her best stuff then I could see it being potentially a breeze for her. But I have a niggling feeling that she’ll be the more nervy one out there between them. And Pliskova has a much better B game than Aryna does!

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    • I’ve been waiting for Karolina since the start of the year, along with Kiki Bertens. Well, I know where KiKi stands now 😦 . Maybe just a little bit impatient with Pliskova, was expecting some surgical type tennis with her coach Sascha given his results with Naomi and Serena( earlier). I think Karolina is also in a pleasant place mentally in this tournament. Her match interviews have been fairly light-hearted in a way.

      At the start of the tournament, my first impressions of the draw was a top half winner and a top player. As things are, it leaves Ash Barty as the only obvious choice. I did feel Sabalenka could make the quarters at least, regardless of all the half being littered with dangerous american players, it seemed the easier section. Now, my heart is with Barty, a Sabalenka win would be good for both her and tour as a whole. Pliskova, I feel would be a long time coming. Kerber will be a statement that she is back, hope springs eternal 🙂 . Just my random thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

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