As we approach the business end of this year’s Wimbledon, it’s no surprise that it’s two previous champions that are the favourites for their respective events.
Serena Williams is chasing an eighth Wimbledon title, but it’s not the former winner that we expected that heads the men’s betting. Roger Federer’s elimination means that it’s the outcome of a fierce battle between men who have won 29 Grand Slams between them which is likely to go a long way to determining the destination of this year’s men’s title.
Keep reading for your preview of this year’s Wimbledon semi-finals.
Repeat of 2016 final the likely outcome of last four clashes
Despite never playing her best tennis Serena Williams has progressed to the semi-finals, although the 25th seed had to fight harder than expected in the last eight to come through a tough three-setter against Camila Giorgi.
Williams is into her 11th Wimbledon semi-final but not before having to come back from losing the opening set to the unseeded Italian. She’s now the lowest-ranked woman ever to make the Wimbledon semis and will equal Margaret Court’s Grand Slam wins record if she can prevail in Saturday’s final.
After her win over the world number 52, Williams said: “I feel good, I feel like I did better today, I had to. This is only my fourth tournament back so I don’t feel pressure, I don’t feel I have to win this. I still have a long way to go to be where I was.”
The American will become the fourth mum to win a Grand Slam title if she wins this weekend, but in the last four she’ll have to raise her game as for the first time this fortnight she plays an opponent ranked inside the top 50.
Julia Gorges may be the 13th seed but her run to the semi-final is surprising for many reasons. The German has never reached this stage of a Grand Slam before in 42 attempts and, more astonishingly, she came into Wimbledon having been knocked out in the first round at SW19 in each of the last five years.
Williams may have to improve, but she should be backed at 1/4.
Whoever wins Williams’ semi-final will face a Grand Slam champion in the final, as former Australian and US Open winner Angelique Kerber takes on 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko.
After winning two Grand Slams in 2016 the German struggled for form, but runs to the semi-finals in Melbourne and quarter-finals in Paris this year show that she is back to her best. The 11th seed is a former Wimbledon finalist – she lost the 2016 final to Serena – and impressively beat rising Russian star Daria Kasatkina in straight sets in the quarter-final.
It is only Ostapenko’s 13th Grand Slam event but after an encouraging run to the quarter-final at Wimbledon in 2017 she has gone one better this year. It’s worth noting that the Latvian has yet to beat a seeded player at this year’s tournament, and so Kerber looks the sound option at 8/13.
Top seed’s shock elimination leaves draw wide open
After the shock elimination of tournament favourite Roger Federer in the quarter-final, we now know that this year’s Wimbledon final will be between a tall, big server and one of the greats of the modern game.
The pick of the semi-finals is the clash between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. The pair have won 29 Grand Slam titles between them and have met each other 51 times, with the Serb edging their encounters by 26 wins to 25.
Both men have looked in great form over the fortnight, and Nadal was in particularly gritty form as he came from two sets to one down to beat Juan Martin del Potro in a thrilling five-set quarter-final. Djokovic has dropped just two sets in his run to the last four and appears to be approaching his best form after some injury problems.
This is a tough one to call. The pair have met on grass three times before and the most recent meeting was seven years ago when the Serb prevailed in the Wimbledon final. Djokovic is the slight favourite here, but Nadal is such a great competitor the odds of evens look tempting.
At 2-0 down you would have got long odds on Kevin Anderson recovering to beat Roger Federer; a player against whom the big South African had never even won a set. Yet it’s the 8th seed that progressed to the semi-final after a mammoth final set, and his reward for a career-best win is a match against a fellow giant John Isner.
We’ve been opposing Isner for a couple of rounds now considering that his record on grass is surprisingly poor for someone with the weapons for the surface. However, he came through a quarter-final against 2016 finalist Milos Raonic in four sets to reach his very first Grand Slam semi-final.
You would think that whichever of these men won through they would struggle in Sunday’s final, but Isner has won the last five meetings between the pair and their only previous match on grass. Back the American at 10/11.
Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.
Also published on Medium.