WILL EVANS’ daily preview serves up Wimbledon tips for a mouth-watering semi-final duel between history-making Ash Barty and former champ Angelique Kerber.
22:00 (AEST), Thu 8th Jul @ All England Club, Wimbledon
History: Played 5: Kerber 3 V Barty 2
Last meeting: Hopman Cup, 2019 (RR): Kerber d Barty 6-4 6-4
Final Thoughts: World No.1 Ash Barty is into her third Grand Slam semi, while she becomes the first Australian woman semi-finalist since Jelena Dokic 21 years ago. But 2018 Wimbledon champ Angelique Kerber stands between Barty and a berth in the final.
Barty appears to be timing her Wimbledon run perfectly. She has not dropped a set since the first round, while she rebuffed the Round of 16 challenge from French Open champ Barbora Krejcikova 7-5 6-3 and thrashed compatriot Ajla Tomljanovic 6-1 6-3 in the quarter-finals.
Kerber reached the Wimbledon final in 2016 – the same year she won the Australian and US Opens – before lifting the silverware at the All England Club two years later. But this is this first time the German has made it past the fourth round of a major since.
Kerber, the 25th seed, has picked up impressive momentum during the second week of the tournament after surviving three-setters against Sara Sorribes Tormo and Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the early rounds. She eliminated 20th seed Coco Gauff 6-4 6-4 in the Round of 16 and 19th seed Karolina Muchova 6-2 6-3 in the quarters.
The 33-year-old’s deep run at Wimbledon follows on from her capture of the Bad Homburg Open title in late-June.
Rivalry edge belongs to Kerber
Kerber holds a 3-2 lead in her head-to-head against Barty, including victories in the 2018 Sydney International final and their most recent meeting at the 2019 Hopman Cup. Barty’s wins over Kerber came at the 2017 WTA Elite Trophy and the 2018 Wuhan Open.
This is a tremendous semi-final match-up between two proven winners in great form. It seems destined to go to three sets. Kerber has arguably looked the more impressive of the pair but the veteran has played a lot of tennis over the past three weeks. I’m leaning towards the 25-year-old Barty to finish stronger.