The Best of the Day preview blasts a forehand down the line with Wimbledon tips for history-chasing legend Serena Williams’ bid to squash Barbora Strycova’s fairytale in the semis.
20:00 (AEST) @ All England Club, Wimbledon
History: Played 3: Williams 3 V Strycova 0
Last meeting: Australian Open, 2017 (R16): Williams d Strycova 7-5 6-4
Final Thoughts: The Best of the Day preview breaks down the next step in Serena Williams’ bid for a record-equalling 24th grand slam triumph. The women’s tennis G.O.A.T. has not won a major since returning from a maternity break last year.
— All India Radio News (@airnewsalerts) July 10, 2019
But on the other side of the Wimbledon semi-final net is another competing fairytale: 33-year-old Barbora Strycova vying for a maiden grand slam final berth.
The Czech veteran’s best previous grand slam performance was a Wimbledon quarter-final appearance in 2014, but her run this year is emerging as one of the best stories of the 2019 tournament.
At 33-years-old, Barbora Strycova is the oldest first-time major semifinalist in the Open Era, overtaking Roberta Vinci, who was 32-years-old when she advanced to the 2015 US Open semifinal and finished runner-up. #Wimbledon pic.twitter.com/DduuGWjh9r
— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) July 9, 2019
She has lost only one set and eliminated seeded players Lauren Tsurenko, Kiki Bertens, Elise Mertens and Johanna Konta. Strycova overcame the home crowd sentiment to blast Konta away 7-7 6-1.
Eleventh seed Williams hit her straps in the third and fourth rounds with straight-sets wins over Julia Gorges and Carla Suarez Navarro.
But she had to dig deep to oust unseeded compatriot Alison Riske 6-4 4-6 6-3 in the quarter-finals.
— Troy (@Troy_Official) July 9, 2019
Williams has won all three of her previous encounters with Strycova in straight sets. Remarkably, all three meetings were in grand slams. Williams prevailed at the 2012 and ’17 Australian Opens, plus a first-round Wimbledon clash in 2012.
Williams has an ominous record in grand slam semis, winning 31 of 36. She has won her last 10 Wimbledon semis.
That experience shapes as the major difference between these combatants. Strycova has done magnificently to reach this stage, but it’s doubtful she has the extra gear or two required to put Williams away.