By Ros Satar, at Wimbledon
- Simona Halep  v Elina Svitolina  | Svitolina leads H2H 4-3
- Serena Williams  v Barbora Strycova | Williams leads H2H 3-0
WIMBLEDON, UK – The final four are set in the women’s draw and the scene is set for a run to the finish.
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Simona Halep  v Elina Svitolina  | Svitolina leads H2H 4-3
In 2017, Simona Halep saved a match point in their 2017 Roland Garros encounter to reach the final, and Elina Svitolina is not too keen on being reminded of that ahead of this battle. At a tour level, it is Svitolina who has the advantage, as she reaches her first Slam semi-final – seemingly out of nowhere.
She has been flying largely under the radar, and indeed had one foot out of the door in the second round, and she has seemed to build on her form and get better with each round. She has had to overcome a knee injury which saw her miss the start of the clay court season and resulted in first round exits in Madrid and Rome. With a run to the third round at Roland Garros and opening exits as well in Birmingham and Eastbourne.
Halep had to deal with a tweak to her foot in the first round and dropped her only set to compatriot Mihaela Buzarnescu en route to some strong performances to this point, where-upon she declared she was now in love with the grass!
Halep goes into this perhaps the marginal favourite, having adapted her scrambler’s game to the surface. She has been working hard on coming to the net a lot more and we can certainly believe her when she says she is ready to put her last encounter with the final four at Wimbledon to rest – she just needs to take care of those ankles!
Svitolina has always been steady and consistent, but Halep has bucket loads of experience at this level now, and that will most likely win through what has all the hallmarks of a tough battle.
Prediction: Halep in three sets.
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Serena Williams  v Barbora Strycova | Williams leads H2H 3-0
Seven-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams will have one thing on her mind – getting one step closer to ‘24’. All that is standing in her way is Barbora Strycova, who at 33 years of age, is pretty much living her best tennis life right now.
Strycova used every trick in the book to upend British No. 1 Johanna Konta and will really need to do all that and chucked the kitchen sink at Williams as she is another Slam semi-final debutante.
Williams is getting herself going after dealing with a knee injury that has really prevented her from showing her best tennis. In fact, we could actually argue her best, dominant tennis is yet to show itself.
She managed a few more matches with Andy Murray in the Mixed Doubles but now (maybe thankfully) that has also come to an end and leaves her free to focus on the goal of equalling Margaret Court’s record.
Strycova will really need to do her utmost best to get on the end of the intimidating Williams’ serve. Stryycova can slice, dice, serve, volley and throw in every trick in the book to make Williams’ life a misery and if she can frustrate her, and keep pace, then we have a fight on our hands.
It is unlikely the Czech can win, and usually Williams acts as though she has no clue about her potential opponents, but it is telling that she knew exactly what t expect for Strycova – which suggests the Czech is very much on her radar.
Prediction: Williams in three sets.
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