Preview: Serena Williams will take on Barbora Strycova for a shot at her eleventh Wimbledon final, while Simona Halep faces a tough test against Elina Svitolina.
If experience and accomplishments count for anything, Williams has the clear advantage.
“I definitely feel a lot more pressure as I got older,” Williams said after beating Alison Riske in three sets in the quarter-finals, then clarifying just how much experience she actually has. “Now that I am past older, I feel a little bit less pressure.”
The 37-year-old Williams, a seven-time Wimbledon champion, will be playing in the semi-finals at the All England Club for the 12th time. Overall, she has reached the last four at 37 major tournaments, putting her in a tie with Steffi Graf for third most in the professional era.
Contrast that with her three remaining rivals. Barbora Strycova, Williams’ opponent on Thursday, will be playing in first major semi-final in her 53rd Grand Slam tournament, while Elina Svitolina will also be making her debut at this stage. Only former No. 1 Simona Halep has been a Grand Slam champion, winning last year’s French Open, and will be playing in her seventh major semi-final.
“It was always my dream. Always, to play good at this tournament was my dream,” said the 33-year-old Strycova, a Czech player who has been talking about retiring this year. “It’s happening at this age right now. It’s incredible.”
Despite her less-illustrious list of achievements, Strycova is ready for the challenge of playing one of the greatest tennis players in history.
Halep, a former No. 1 who won the 2018 French Open, followed up her elimination of 15-year-old sensation Coco Gauff by defeating Zhang Shuai of China 7-6 (4), 6-1 to get to her second semi-final at Wimbledon. Svitolina will make her debut in that round at any major tournament thanks to beating Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic 7-5, 6-4.
With inputs from Agencies.
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