YESTERDAY’s action at Wimbledon was dominated by injuries.
Andy Murray, cleared hampered by his hip, lost to Sam Querrey in five traumatic sets while Novak Djokovic called it quits just two games into the second set against Tomas Berdych.
But WIMBLEDON WRAP won’t be launching an inquest today – not when there is a British woman in the semi-finals for the first time in 39 years!
Jo Konta v Venus Williams: Centre Court, approx. 3pm
THAT’S right, a British woman in the semi-final of Wimbledon. Quite frankly, we have been spoiled in recent years with Tim Henman and Murray contesting 11 between them, so now there is something novel for so many people about seeing Jo Konta step out today in the last four. And she has really earned her place in the semis, with those tough wins against Donna Vekic, Caroline Garcia, and in the quarter-final against Simona Halep on Tuesday.
Jo has impressed everyone with the consistency of her play, and more especially, the mental strength in her game. Remember, she had only won one match at Wimbledon before this glorious run. She has been oblivious to the all fanfare going on around her and stayed ‘in the zone’. That ability to focus on each point has stood her in great stead up to this point. But now, the task reaches a new level with an incredible opponent on the other side of the net.
Without Serena Williams in the draw, this was supposed to be wide-open Wimbledon. But we made a huge mistake. We forgot that her older sister, Venus, was still around. That’s Venus, who has won five Wimbledons and lost in the final three times to her sister. She has been an incredible player and is still playing some great tennis at 37. As we have seen so often from her and her sister in the past, Venus’ form has got better over the two weeks and she brushed aside her last two opponents on Centre Court.
It would be an incredible for her to become the oldest winner of the ladies’ singles, so there is history at stake for both players. And if it’s anything like Konta’s previous matches at SW19, it should be another nail-biter.
Garbine Muguruza v Magdalena Rybarikova: Centre Court, 1pm
THIS is very much the second semi-final in terms of public interest, but it carries the same prize – a place in the Wimbledon final on Saturday.
Garbine Muguruza has the experience of being on this stage before as the finalist in 2015 and the winner of the French Open last year. And at Wimbledon, there have been great signs that the Spanish girl has got her hunger back and is ready to win again. But Magdalena Rybarikova comes into the match in the form of her life. After Wimbledon last year, she needed surgery on her left wrist and then her right knee and her ranking plummeted to 453rd as recently as March. But her summer season in England has been spectacular. Just one defeat in 19 matches on grass underlines how well the Slovakian has done and in knocking out the new World No.1 Karolina Pliskova and the fancied Coco Vandeweghe, she has proved her credentials.
Muguruza’s reputation and ranking will make her the favourite to get through, but being the underdog is just how Rybarikova likes it.
IMMEDIATELY after Konta’s semi-final on Centre Court, there is an extra treat for British fans as a mixed-doubles quarter-final takes place involving three British players. There is the stellar pairing of Jamie Murray and the Swiss star Martina Hingis up against Ken Skupski and Jocelyn Rae, who won a late-night thriller on Court 1 last night to set up this showpiece game.