Serena continues her march towards a calendar Grand Slam
In an otherwise unpredictable Wimbledon women’s tournament, the one constant has been the experience and determination of the top seed. Serena Williams has been forced to dig deep at times but the 33 year old remains on course for her sixth Wimbledon title and is on a run of 26 consecutive wins in Grand Slam singles matches.
Keep reading for our Wimbledon quarter finals preview.
Wimbledon betting favourite faces former champion in high quality semi-final
For the second time in the tournament, the top seed and Wimbledon betting favourite had to call on all of her experience to win. After coming from a set down to beat Heather Watson on Centre Court, Serena Williams had to do the same again to beat the former world number one Victoria Azarenka in a terrific quarter final.
It was a high quality match worthy of the Wimbledon final and Williams won the deciding set 6-3 to set up a semi-final with old rival Maria Sharapova. The American hit 17 aces and 46 winners to overcome Azarenka in just over two hours and after her win said: “It was really fun out there. I was smiling at one point and I saw Victoria smiling as well. We both really enjoyed it.
“It’s been up and down, up and down, but somehow I’m still alive. I’m just happy to be here.”
Williams has now won 26 consecutive Grand Slam matches but will face the woman who beat her in the 2004 Wimbledon final.
Sharapova’s progress to the last four has been pretty comfortable and the fourth seed has dropped just one set along the way; a hard fought tiebreak in her quarter final win over Coco Vanderweghe. It’s the Russian’s best performance at Wimbledon since 2011 although she had to fight for almost three hours to overcome the unseeded American.
The key statistic for this match is the record between the two players. While Sharapova may have beaten Williams in a Wimbledon final, she hasn’t won against the top seed since 2004. Williams has won 16 consecutive matches against her rival, including a straight sets triumph at this year’s Australian Open. The tournament favourite also came close to whitewashing her Russian rival on the grass at Wimbledon in the 2012 Olympics, winning 6-0 6-1 on that occasion.
It should be a good match but Williams can extend her winning streak at 2/11.
Youngster could become Spain’s first women’s Wimbledon finalist since 1996
It would be fair to say that very few people expected anything of Garbine Muguruza this Wimbledon. The 20th seed’s preparation for the tournament had been poor, losing in the first round in Birmingham to world number 59 Magdelena Rybarikova and then in the last 16 at Eastbourne to Britain’s Johanna Konta, ranked 146 in the world.
However, the Spanish player seems to have become accustomed to the grass in just a few matches, defeating three seeds along the way including Caroline Wozniacki and our outside bet for the title, Angelique Kerber.
The Spanish youngster has enjoyed an excellent 2015. She reached the last 16 of the Australian Open, taking a set off eventual champion Serena Williams before losing, and then reached the quarter-finals at Roland Garros where she lost in three sets to eventual runner-up Lucie Safarova.
Muguruza’s opponent in the semi-finals is the dangerous Agnieska Radwanska. The Pole has pedigree at Wimbledon, reaching the semi-final in 2013 and the final in 2012 where she was beaten in three sets by Serena Williams.
This is a tough match to call. Considering the relative pedigree of the two Radwanska should have the upper hand on grass, but Muguruza has grown into this tournament and could cause an upset. Radwanska looks good value at evens to win.