We now have two first-time ladies singles’ finalists going into tomorrow night on Day 13 here at Wimbledon. We have Tunisian Ons Jabeur where she had an very easy first set spell before she reacted to Tatjana Maria’s 2nd half fightback with a supercharged sprint towards the finish line – which was impossible for Maria to catch her down in 1st. And on the other hand, it’s Elena Rybakina from Kazakhstan. She was just too good all along to wrap up in straight sets from start to finish against a two-time Grand Slam Champion – Romania’s Simona Halep. The final score was 6-3, 6-3.
It’s not been the return she wanted in the end when Halep last played in a grand slam final four back in 2020 at the Australian Open. She finally found a way to get the ball rolling after a poor start when Rybakina was way ahead in the opening set. Although she did well to try and stay in contention going into the 2nd set, but Halep just didn’t have the 2nd half momentum to match her opponent’s standard to stand any chance possible of upsurging Rybakina. It’s good to see her back at her best though, as there’s plenty of unfinished business ahead for Halep.
And congratulations to Rybakina on another outstanding display that secured her first-ever grand slam final appearance. There’s a lot of things to say about her natural game & playing style – especially when she got off to a fast start before she read really well on Halep’s strengths earlier in the 2nd set & pulled off another easy run with a straight sets victory past the finish line. It gave us plenty of reasons as to why she’s here to win grand slam silverware, as she has unbelievable potential at age 23. But it remains to seen if Rybakina can overcome Jabeur with the same mindset & fight on what it should be an amazing finish to this women’s singles final tomorrow.
We’re all gutted for our Aussie Ajla Tomljanovic – who may not have held off Elena Rybakina following a brilliant opening set spell – but she has bowed out with her head held high after back-to-back Ladies’ Singles Quarter-Finals here at Wimbledon. At the end of the day though, what a performance from Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina with the win from the opening set down to just being too good in the end. Her next opponent now for tonight’s semi-final will be 16th seed Simona Halep from Romania, as the final score was 6-4, 2-6, 3-6.
As said just above, Tomljanovic fought off a competitive battle at the start that earned her the opening set lead, where she was just one set away from advancing through to tonight’s semis. Unfortunately, she just couldn’t find the execution needed to cross the finish line first when Rybakina held her back at 1-1 apiece- before it was too late when Tomljanovic was eventually overtaken that confirmed elimination on the run home. It doesn’t mean the hard work is well and truly done, having mastered over the last two years on the grass court. Now let’s see if she can replicate the same thing on the hard surface. Her best result over in that surface was the 3rd Round at the US Open last year; So hopefully, that would give her some confidence going into next year’s Australian Open in Melbourne.
And congratulations to Rybakina who is set to play in her first ever grand slam semi final v Halep. She may have narrowly lost the first set but it doesn’t mean this tie was over just yet. The response she made to hold back Tomljanovic going into the final set decider before firing away home first with the execution & patience shows that she has no reason to be scared of her next opponent. She’s young with so much potential at age 23 alongside a really tall stature at just six foot to knock any opponent out of the park. There could be two first timers for Saturday’s final with either Ons Jabeur or Tatjana Maria, but it only depends on Rybakina‘s ability to get the job done against someone – who is very experienced with two grand slam championships to Halep’s name.
We also saw another brilliant match-up over at Court Suzanne Lenglen in the 4th Round yesterday of this year’s French Open, but in the women’s singles draw between American Jessica Pegula & Irina-Camelia Begu from Romania. Begu did a great job shutting down Pegula following a very competitive battle that saw her lead the opening set. But it’s all about racing towards the finish line where Pegula proved too good to eliminate Begu, having tied 1-1 ahead of the 3rd set decider before she earned her spot in the Final 8; 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Begu would be disappointed not to advance into the Final 8 as her best grand slam finish is just outside any finals appearance so far for the third time since 2016 here. She fired off really well even though Pegula doesn’t give Begu an easier pass that secured the opening set lead from the Romainian but then the momentum dropped and couldn’t find a way to stay in this fight ever since. She’s 31 right now but there’s still some time left to improve if Begu wants to go one better and secure her first ever grand slam finals appearance at Wimbledon next month.
And what a rebound it has been from Jessica Pegula. Yes, she may have fallen so short during the opening set spell by a close two game difference, but Pegula just never gave up battling 100%. She credits the renewed momentum that helped her close in on Begu ahead of the 3rd set decider before Pegula pulled off comfortably with another Quarter-Finals appearance on top of the Australian Open so far this year. It’s also her first finals taste here at the French Open, but she will need to overcome World No.1 Iga Swiatek for the semi-final spot against either Veronika Kudermetova or Daria Kasatkina on Day 11 tomorrow.
It’s been a great first half of battles between Serena Williams & Simona Halep in the 4th Quarter Final game. Where they both fired off side by side 2-2. Before Serena bridged an easy 2nd half run. As it is so far so powerful from Serena who took out the 1st stage 6-3.
Halep began to make up the lost time with the early Stage 2 lead ahead of Serena 2-0. The 2nd seed from Romania has the build up base to fight back her opponent. But once again Halep struggled to connect with the middle ground on her next run. Despite a few good deuce battles to try that eventually slipped away valuable points.
It turned out to be Serena’s night at Rod Laver Arena instead with the win. As the 10th seed from Saginaw, Michigan wrapped this game up easily in straight sets. The final score is 6-3, 6-3. As this tie was completed in just one hour & 20 minutes. Not too hard there from Serena who is age 39 right now. While Halep is 10 years and one month younger than her. Age is pretty much a number here.
Well played from Serena who fired off steady and then execute it to wipe off Halep in the attack. Where her next run in the 1st set was easy to pull off this mini win. May have fallen behind a bit during the early stages by Halep in the next set. But halted her finishing touches & turned into one of her own with an easy win. Her next oppontent will be Naomi Osaka from Japan in the semi-finals.
And commiserations on Simona Halep where she did not enjoy the result she wanted. The foundations are there to make the move having done so first ahead of Serena. Not just the 1st but also the 2nd sets. The only thing that lets her down is the lack of conversions. Despite some great battles in the deuces. Just unable to hold on to keep herself close to Serena. At least in the 2nd set alone which was decent. But only the 1st half alone. We wish Simona all the best as well as her Aussie coach Darren Cahill.
It was a first half close battle between Iga Swiatek v Simona Halep in Section 8 of this R4 Clash. Both players tied 3-3 through the initial halfway mark. But Swiatek pulled off the 2nd half portion lead away from Halep. As Switatek who is the 15th seed wins Stage 1 6-3.
But the second stage saw Halep bounce back real quick to prevent Swiatek from winning in straight sets. Where this portion was too good for the World No.2. With Swiatek only registered a point when she was behind 3-1. And not much progress there to hold Halep up 6-1 after the 2nd stage. Having just passed the one hour mark that will go into the 3rd & final stage of this tie. The winner will get to face the 10th seed Serena Williams in the 4th Quarter-Final.
Halep has the upper hand to take the overall lead ahead of Swiatek for the first time 2-0. Swiatek is doing everything possible to save her game. When she duels a lot with Halep. Especially in the deuces section. So Swiatek can close in on the Romanian before she can weather the storm. The Pole was a game away from being eliminated at the first attempt 3-5. Where Swiatek won a point to go 4-5. But just felt a tad short by two points in the end. Simona Halep wrapped this game up in one hour & 50 mins, 6-3, 1-6, 4-6.
Oh so close for Iga Swiatek who is aged 19 from Poland have played so well. She has the ability to fire off as demonstrated with her natural talent. As well as some close battles to hold Simona Halep back. Halep is a tough opponent where Swiatek does not let opponents walk past her easily. The only weakness is maintaining the momentum & executing these conversions. Swiatek has a big future ahead though with as a future grand slam champion.
While Halep might have lost some ground during the 2nd half of the 1st set. Where she lost to Swiatek 3-6. But Halep compensated this slow start with a very easy 2nd set run. Where she denied Swiatek a straight sets chance into the 3rd set. Before Halep profited her reprieve by escaping the 15th seed unscathed. With a Quarter-Finals meeting awaits v Serena Williams. It was a very close match tonight that was not easy. But Halep is glad to continue her journey here.
We look forward to the second week of the Grand Slam in Melbourne. Having ticked off the 1st week. With the remaining Round 4 games to wrap up before the Quarter Finals begin. And we hope by Day 11 when the fans are allowed to attend these games.