Sunday, 22 September, 2019


Wimbledon 2019: Day 12, Match Points

Wimbledon 2019: Day 12, Match Points Wimbledon 2019: Day 12, Match Points
Noah Ferguson | 12 July, 2019, 19:59

Despite losing her only previous match with Strycova it still seemed an inviting route to a semi-final date with Serena Williams but for the second Grand Slam in a row an unseeded Czech proved her undoing.

Serena Williams celebrates winning a game at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Britain, July 3, 2015.

Halep excels at this type of play, more frequently seen on clay courts than grass, and soon enough was on her way to her fifth Grand Slam final.

Yet, after suppressing tigerish American Alison Riske on Tuesday in the last eight, only Czech Strycova, the oldest first-time Grand Slam singles semi-finalist at 33, stands between Williams and another shot at Margaret Court's record 24 slams.

The 19 aces Williams managed against Riske were absent today, with just four serves winging past Strycova in the match, but Williams' secondary game was fine-tuned to the point where she won 89% of her service points.

Simona Halep dispatched Elina Svitolina in straight sets to reach her first Wimbledon final, winning 6-1 6-3 in just over an hour.

"I'm in a different place, because I wasn't really playing a month ago, like, at all". "I think the best I can do is put myself in the positions, to give myself the opportunity to keep going further and further".

"That's the only reason I'm able to compete", Williams said.

Set 2 was more of the same as Strycova was visibly in pain and even let a pair of screams out on Centre Court.

The 27-year-old has won just one of the four Grand Slam finals in which she has appeared - last year's French Open.

In the Open Era, only 10 other players have pulled this feat off, with Chris Evert having done it the most times with six and Williams now tied on four with Stefanie Graf.

"It feels fantastic. It is the first semi-final for me, and I actually didn't expect it to happen here", she said. "I mean, it will either happen or it won't", she said. The whole world expects Serena to have a historic afternoon on Centre Court, and if Williams gets off to a fast start, her victory will feel nearly inevitable. "Now that I am past older, I feel a little bit less pressure".

For anyone, really, when Williams is at her best.

What are the keys to the match for Halep?

Here she has been calm and happy, which Mouratoglou says makes her "much more dangerous".

Williams played cleanly, accumulating almost twice as many winners as unforced errors, 28-10.

Strycova would repeatedly flex or shake her legs between points or try to stretch in her sideline chair by pulling her right foot onto her left knee and rocking her leg. "I'm far from ideal".

What are the keys to the match for Williams?

Halep, who had not faced a seeded player until Svitolina, faced some resistance as she served for the set eventually taking it on her sixth set point.

Five of the first 11 points lasted at least 10 strokes; two went 23.

Simona Halep is coming off a straight sets win over Elina Svitolina that took 16 games to decide. Or that Williams soundly beat Halep later at that same tournament.

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