World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty needs just two more wins to earn her first Wimbledon title, but will have to get past former champion Angelique Kerber on Thursday if she wants to secure a place in the tournament final.
Barty reached the semifinal with a 6-1, 6-3 rout of fellow Australian Ajla Tomljanovic in her quarterfinal match.
Barty: Kerber ‘the ultimate test’
She’ll now take on the 33-year-old Kerber, who has three Grand Slam titles to her credit.
“It’s the ultimate test,” Barty said after her quarterfinal win. “Angie’s obviously had success here before.”
Kerber won Wimbledon back in 2018. She also reached the final during the best year of her career in 2016, when she won both the Australian Open and the US Open, but fell to Serena Williams in the grass-court classic.
Kerber moved into the semifinals this year with a 6-2, 6-3 win over No. 19 seed Karolina Muchova. While Kerber hasn’t enjoyed much success at majors since her 2018 Wimbledon triumph – this is the first Grand Slam quarterfinal she’s reached since then – it’s fitting that her best result in years comes on grass.
“I never [stopped] believing in myself, my team,” Kerber said after the quarterfinal victory. “I love to play tennis and I love this sport, to go out there and playing again in front of the fans. I think this gives me also that push to play my best tennis right now. I have always in my career [had] some up and downs. I was always believing that I can come back because I know what I can [do].”
While Barty doesn’t have the same track record of Wimbledon success as Kerber, her overall form makes her the favorite in their match. FanDuel Sportsbook rates Barty as the -235 pick to get past Kerber (+195) and reach the final.
Sabalenka, Pliskova seek first Wimbledon final
In the other semifinal, No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka will take on No. 8 Karolina Pliskova. Sabalenka dispatched Ons Jabeur 6-4, 6-3 to move into the first Grand Slam semifinal of her career.
“I’m really happy that I’m still here in the tournament and, somehow, I find a way to win matches here,” Sabalenka said after her win. “This surface – it’s amazing and it fits my game. I’m enjoying every second on the court.”
While Pliskova has more major semifinal experience – she even reached the US Open final in 2016, losing to Kerber – this is her first time past the fourth round at Wimbledon. She earned her spot in the semis with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Viktorija Golubic.
“Everything today was working quite well,” Pliskova said of her performance.
|Wimbledon Ladies’ Semifinal Odds (via FanDuel Sportsbook)|
|No. 1 Ashleigh Barty: -235||No. 25 Angelique Kerber: +195|
|No. 8 Karolina Pliskova: +190||No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka: -225|
Sabalenka comes into the semifinal as a -225 favorite over Pliskova (+190). Overall, Barty stands as the +155 favorite to win Wimbledon, with Sabalenka (+210) and Kerber (+300) close behind, while Pliskova ranks as a relative long shot at +600.