WILL EVANS’ daily preview serves up Wimbledon tips for an all-Aussie showdown between world No.1 Ash Barty and first-time Slam quarter-finalist Ajla Tomljanovic.
01:30 (AEST), Wed 7th Jul @ All England Club, Wimbledon
History: First meeting
Final Thoughts: Ashleigh Barty is through to her maiden Wimbledon quarter-final. Fellow Australian Ajla Tomljanovic is into the last eight at a Grand Slam for the first time.
Barty – who won the 2019 French Open and has been to the quarters of the past three Australian Opens – is improving with every outing in London. She needed three sets to overcome Carla Suarez Navarro in the first round, before outlasting Anna Blinkova (6-4 6-3) and Katerina Siniakova (6-3 7-5) in straight sets.
The 25-year-old then beat Barbora Krejcikova 7-5 6-3 in the fourth round, snapping the French Open champ’s 15-match winning streak. She is still having some shaky moments on serve but has dug deep when it’s counted, recovering from an early 3-1 deficit against Krejcikova.
Pre-tournament favourite Barty has shortened to $3 to clinch her second major championship.
Meanwhile, few saw Tomljanovic’s watershed run coming. The 28-year-old has been past the second round of a Slam just once previously – way back at the 2014 French Open.
She eliminated top seed Elise Mertens at the Birmingham Class but lost to Coco Vandeweghe in the second round, while she failed to make it out of qualifying for the Eastbourne International.
But Tomljanovic has been outstanding at Wimbledon. After putting away Greet Minnen, she defeated Alize Cornet and former French Open champ Jelena Ostapenko in tough three-setters. The world No.75 was 6-4 3-0 up in the fourth round when British wildcard Emma Raducanu retired.
Both players are on a one-day turnaround. Barty gets the benefit of having played six hours earlier on Manic Monday. However, Tomljanovic’s truncated hit-out against Raducanu lessens the advantage somewhat.
Impressive as she’s been over the past week, $4.60 underdog Tomljanovic will need to lift another gear or two to challenge Barty. Tomljanovic’s record against current top-10 players is very modest: three wins in her career and none since 2019. Barty’s power and all-round class should end her compatriot’s unlikely charge.
|Karolina Pliskova V Viktorija Golubic||Set Betting – Pliskova 2-0 @ $2.10|
|Karolina Muchova V Angelique Kerber||Result – Muchova @ $2.10|
|Ons Jabeur V Aryna Sabalenka||Result – Jabeur @ $2.20|