Elena Rybakina, Barbora Krejcikova reach Wimbledon semis

League: Tennis

Posted on: 10 Jul, 2024 at 03:18 PM

Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

No. 4 seed Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan cruised into the Wimbledon semifinals with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over No. 21 Elina Svitolina of Ukraine on Wednesday.

Rybakina, the 2022 Wimbledon champion, recorded 28 winners and converted four of six break opportunities in the breezy 61-minute win at the All England Club.

With nearly as many aces (seven) as Svitolina had winners (eight), Rybakina won 85 percent of the points on her first serve (22 of 26) and was broken only once.

"It's always tough to play Elina," Rybakina said. "She's a great player and fighter. No matter the score, it was not as easy as it might look like."

Rybakina improved to 19-2 in the main draw at the grass-court Grand Slam. Her 90.4 percent win rate ranks third in the Open Era (since 1968) at Wimbledon behind Ann Jones (12-1, 92.3 percent) and Steffi Graf (74-7, 91.4 percent).

The 25-year-old Rybakina will attempt to improve on that sterling record in Thursday's semifinals against 2021 French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic.

The 31st-seeded Krejcikova rallied from 4-1 down in the second set in Wednesday's quarterfinals to defeat No. 13 Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia 6-4, 7-6 (4) in 1 hour and 40 minutes.

Krejcikova, 28, reached her first Wimbledon semifinal on the strength of her service game, winning 81 percent of the points on her first serve (38 of 47) including five aces.

Krejcikova finished with nearly twice as many unforced errors as winners (27-15), but Ostapenko finished with 35 unforced errors and 16 winners. Ostapenko, who had lost only 15 games to reach the final eight, also double-faulted five times.

Earlier this year, Krejcikova missed time with a serious illness.

"It was a very difficult period," she said. "It was actually super difficult even before this tournament. I want to thank my boys and my team that's there today. There have been many doubts from inside but also from the outside world.

"I'm super happy I never gave up and that I'm standing here right now and that I've reached the semifinals."

Krejcikova has won both previous meetings with Rybakina. This will be their first meeting on grass.

No. 7 seed Jasmine Paolini of Italy and unseeded Donna Vekic of Croatia meet in the other semifinal. Paolini holds a 2-1 head-to-head lead over Vekic.

--Field Level Media