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Last night’s Wimbledon ladies singles’ final of 2024 was epic where there were two first time finalists with Jasmine Paolini & Barbora Krejcikova but only one can settle to take home the Venus Rosewater Dish trophy at the finish line. At the start, Krejcikova had an easy 1st set lead but that doesn’t mean Paolini can’t either who also won an easy 2nd set battle brought this Final into a final set decider. It was neck and neck between those two in a one-set drag race but Paolini’s inconsistency to get the job done including at deuces forced Krejcikova’s hand, and she too found a way to get the job done past a series championship point attempts on has been her 2nd grand slam crown since the 2021 Roland Garros on the clay courts.

The final score at SW19 was 6-2, 2-6 and 6-4 as Wimbledon 2024 will wrap up tonight on the 14th and final day’s play with a main event repeat from last year between Carlos Alcaraz (Spain) v Novak Djokovic (Serbia) for the Gentleman’s singles Final.

Commiserations to Paolini with another grand slam runner-up finish following an excellent year so far, having built on that Roland Garros breakthrough with a couple of good wins here and there until the very end. She can be exceptionally mobile despite not being the tallest where the Italian had some good moments including that 2nd set comeback. She’s probably struggled to finish off the puzzle unfortunately when trying to win that arm wrestle towards the end. This is someone Italy should be cheering for on top of Jannik Sinner & Paolini will vow to keep on chasing that breakthrough title soon enough.

And what a moment for Krejcikova with another grand slam singles crown in a while over these last few years. She might be in and out of the Quarter-Finals on a couple of occasions since her 2021 Roland Garros breakthrough win, but the Czech never let her game slip away where class is permanent that gave her country another Wimbledon women’s singles crown after Marketa Vondrousova last year. She’s got some unfinished business ahead to have a regular crack in the last 8 during the 2nd week every year where she will need to keep that consistency at times. But other than that, she played another of her best matches last night & congratulations once again to Krejcikova who is now the new Wimbledon women’s singles champion.

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Last night’s Wimbledon women’s singles semi-finals day at SW19 was really good to watch with back-to-back three set ties that went down the wire as four finalists now set to become two ahead of Saturday’s main event at Centre Court. It’s going to be Jasmine Paolini from Italy going up against another Czech Republic player but this time in Barbora Krejcikova. Three more days to go with the Men’s semi-final day kicking off tonight with Daniil Medvedev v Carlos Alcaraz followed by Lorenzo Musetti v Novak Djokovic, with Djokovic not required to play the last eight two days ago due to Alex De Minaur’s hip injury.

Semi-Final 1

Croatian Donna Vekic who defeated NZ’s Lulu Sun the other day in the last 8 got away with a fast start before Jasmine Paolini didn’t give up at all by holding Vekic back on both sets – even though it wasn’t easy to pull off at all. However, the Italian finally saw light at the end of the tunnel on what is going to be another grand slam singles final following her breakthrough at Roland Garros last month. She hopes to go one better having fell short to the Queen of Clay Iga Swiatek from Poland including her same doubles final appearance that next day as the final score was 6-2, 4-6 and 6-7 with the 8-10 tiebreaker.

This is a breakthrough Vekic should be proud of after finally being able to go through in her first grand slam semi-final hoping she can go all the way following a really good start. She just couldn’t get the best out of Paolini as the game goes on & that semi-finals exit at the deciding end was really unfortunate. Let’s hope she can overcome that inconsistency after a few past rare Quarter-Final outings.

Paolini is having the time of her life at 28 and the way she stood up to Vekic was unbelievable from the opening set down to finishing off her way towards the finish line via a close arm wrestle. She might not be tall but so quick to wrap things up that Vekic couldn’t do to stop the ball from slipping past her in its tracks. It’s not too late from Paolini to become such a late bloomer in the elite world of grand slam tennis as this next breakthrough awaits in the hope of finally winning a major there.

Semi-Final 2

Now that tie had same difficulty shared by both players, although that was done without tiebreaks. 2022 Champion from Kazakhstan Elena Rybakina had a brilliant charge to open the match with the opening set lead but the game wasn’t over just yet when Barbora Krejcikova had a terrific restart to level the scoreboard at 1-1. Although that 3rd set battle was another arm wrestle with Rybakina not holding back to try and hold off top spot, but it was Krejcikova who got away unscathed on what is going to be another big match-up since her 2021 Roland Garros Final triumph. The final score was 3-6, 6-3 and 6-4.

Good to see Rybakina bounce back from that early-round disappointment at the Australian Open back in January with back-to-back knockout matches so far this year including this tourney at Wimbledon as sure she’ll keep on doing better from here. The only thing that held back her is the inconsistency following a good start but then struggled to keep Krejcikova away from her sight including during the final set decider under pressure before it was too late that sealed her semi-final elimination outside the Top 2 spots. There’s the Olympics coming up in a few weeks time back on clay where she didn’t do bad there as said with the Roland Garros up until the last 8 & she also did well in 4th behind Elina Svitolina during the last Summer edition in Tokyo.

And Krejcikova is here to fly the Czech flag hoping to give her country another Wimbledon women’s singles trophy this time by herself. She had some issues at the beginning but has always been great to hold her ground v Rybakina for the most part where she brought up the 3rd set decider before she overcame such a tough arm wrestle towards the finish line and she has done it in the hope of taking her 2nd grand slam women’s singles’ title this time on the grass courts. Other than a couple of rare Quarter-Final appearances, she has never lost in a Final before & Saturday could be another one of her best days yet as we’ll see how the Czech will go against someone is so quick & mobile in Paolini.

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New Zealand’s Lulu Sun, who had fairlytale Wimbledon campaign up until the quarters, has just come to an end overnight despite leading the first set v Donna Vekic from Croatia. Plenty of passionate Kiwi fans stayed up overnight just to see her fly the New Zealand flag which was hug since she was born there, even though she spent most of her life across the US and Europe. As said, she fired off really well through the very end of the first set that gave Sun a 1-0 advantage going into the 2nd set.

Unfortunately, she just couldn’t hold on a bit longer when she was one set away at one stage before Vekic brought up the 3rd set decider, and Sun felt blown away & tiring towards the end with the Quarter-Final elimination on her third ever grand slams appearance at the age of 23.

The final score was 7-5, 4-6 and 1-6.

Anyways, glad Sun chose to represent NZ when she was looking to take part in the Billie Jean King Cup rather than Switzerland a few months ago. Now she will walk away with breakthroughs that will live with Sun forever when Sun first entered Wimbledon as a Qualifier much like her fourth round opponent Emma Raducanu back in the 2021 US Open that led to a spectacular breakthrough of her own with the women’s singles crown. Let’s hope this isn’t a one-off occasion by regularly going for last 16/8 runs next time.

Congratulations to the winner Vekic where she never let her standards slip away. She might have been disappointed at times earlier on that saw Sun take that 1st set advantage but she never gave up from the set down to equalise the Kiwi at 1-1 apiece and at the end of the day, she was the better player who got the away with the finishing touches as if it’s a two-horse drag race towards the final stretch. The Croatian will now take on Italian & this year’s Roland Garros runner-up Jasmine Paolini who defeated USA’s Emma Navarro easily in straight sets 6-2 & 6-1.

If one player from the Tasman isn’t enough, there’s always another one when Australia’s own Alex De Minaur will take on Novak Djokovic later tonight also for a spot in Friday’s semi-final. Yes, it’s gonna be tough match indeed but the Demon has earned his way so much on what is going to be another major Quarter-Final of his own off the back of Roland Garros last month where he lost to eventual runner-up Alexander Zverev. The Aussie sports fans will be right behind him for those staying up just like Ash Barty, Nick Kyrgios & Ajla Tomjlanovic in the past and let’s hope De Minaur can make up a storm v Djokovic.

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Another year, another triumph at Court Phillipe Chatrier for Iga Swiatek from Poland as she was just good to wrap this women’s final in an hour and eight minutes against World No.12 outsider Jasmine Paolini from Italy in straight sets 6-2, 6-1.

This is her fourth Roland Garros title and third straight championship-winning campaign here since the start of the decade where she dominated the court left, right and centre from start to finish. Known as the Queen of Clay, there’s a bit of weaknesses she would like to work on having endured an inconsistent run mainly in the grass courts at Wimbledon. Although Swiatek did win big on the hard surfaces once two years ago at the US Open but did nothing much though since then as this is something she would do in the hope of winning all other grand slams on a regular basis next time that would show she can stay World No.1 for a very long time. Other than that, congratulations to Iga with another French Open win at the age of 23.

Meanwhile, Paolini came in there hoping she would be the one to finally be the next Grand Slam singles champion after a breakthough run here at 28 which was really tough entering her first final as an outsider to the seasoned champion. She actually got away really well from the beginning where the Italian was able to get ahead for a bit but lost her way for the majority other than the odd glimpses here and there such as that brilliant ace serve straight through past her racket. So bummer to see Paolini settle as 2nd best when Swiatek has been always been outstanding at Roland Garros every year but her stunning run doesn’t stop here as she and her doubles compatriot Sara Errani will take on seasoned Finalists of Coco Gauff (also semi finalist to Swaitek in the semis the other day) & Katalina Siniakova just before the Men’s singles Final tomorrow.

Speaking of the Men’s Final to round off 15 days of play, bring on two-time Grand Slam champ Carlos Alcaraz (Spain) v regular semi finalist who is set for his 2nd main event Alexander Zverev (Germany) tomorrow night (AEST time). There will be a new winner either way as whether or not if 2024 is the year Alcaraz will add the Roland Garros onto his trophy cabinet after he first done that two years ago at the US Open followed by Wimbledon nearly a year ago. If not, will Zverev break his duck from his 2020 US Open disappointment by finally winning his first ever grand slam trophy on the courts of clay at 27? We shall see.

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The 2024 Roland Garros women’s singles semi-finals saw two players heading up north for Saturday’s big final while the other two had to fall short and then walk through the exit door across back-to-back matches at Court Phillipe Chatrier. The first semis match was between 3 x Roland Garros winner and defending champion Iga Swiatek (Poland) and current US Open winner Coco Gauff (USA), with Swiatek off to a flying start where she was absolutely too good throughout the first set before she took her time well against such a difficult opponent (who had some moments to stay in the game at times that late to try & give herself a lifeline) that ensured her berth on what is going to be her 3rd straight Final here in straight sets (6-2 and 6-4).

For Gauff, it was good seeing her add another semi grand slam appearance off the back of her US Open triumph last year v Australian Open specialist Aryna Sabalenka. However, she still needs more time before she can hopefully dethrone Swiatek next time around who isn’t an easy opponent to face, especially from someone who knows a whole lot better on clay. Looking at Swiatek, she’s the queen of clay as we all know who was not only too good but also never lost in a big final before as who is going to be there to stop her in its tracks come Saturday? There’s one opponent we shall find out from the 2nd semi-final tie.

That next semi straight after Swiatek v Gauff was the battle between the first-time Roland Garros semi-finalists of Italian Jasmine Paolini and Mirra Andreeva. The first set was close to begin with where Paolini had the upper advantage and Andreeva showing some fight to hold her opponent back. In the end, Andreeva just couldn’t hold on a bit longer to try and turn things her way as Paolini got the job done with the 1-0 lead and then she was too good to bring the match to a quick close in straight sets (6-3, 6-1). She is now one step closer in hopefully ending Iga Swiatek’s winning Roland Garros hoodoo with the hope of winning her ever first singles grand slam trophy at the age of 28 which is a long, long way from here.

Not only that she’s still in the running alongside fellow compatriot Sara Errani in the women’s doubles semi-final later tonight (our time) v Elena Gabriela-Ruse & Marta Kostyuk, so looks like there’s going to be a bit of extra preparation. Who knows? She could win both the women’s singles and also women’s doubles trophies at the same time in Roland Garros history. And on Andreeva, she too also had a great run here including the 4th round earlier in the year at Melbourne Park having gone from 1-0 down to upset Sabalenka the other day during the Quarter-Final. She’d hoped she could do the same v Paolini where she did the best possible to stop the Italian from reaching the first set but just wasn’t her day unfortunately with the semis elimination on-court. At 17 years old, there’s more to come from Andreeva if she can keep it in the 2nd half of this season.

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What a way to end this ladies’ singles final on Day 13 at Wimbledon. Ons Jabeur was off to a very easy start with the early lead, but the match wasn’t over just yet when Elena Rybakina held at 1-1 apiece to bring an exciting 3rd set decider. In the end, it’s Rybakina – who overcame Jabeur at the final restart – before she pulled a comfortable finish with a huge breakthrough moment right here on Centre Court. The final score was 3-6, 6-2, 6-2.

Yes, it’s been so emotional when Jabeur ended up being 2nd best on her first grand slam final appearance. She came here with a fast start to get the ball rolling which blew Rybakina away. However, it’s just not enough to pile the pressure even further when it comes to the 2nd and later 3rd sets. If she had the execution and 2nd half fight to match her opponent’s standard, then this would’ve been a different story via a tiebreak or even regaining the lead. Unfortunately, she couldn’t have them ready to stop Rybakina in its tracks & finish it off her way. But there’s still a whole lot of tennis to look forward to, as Jabeur should continue working hard & try to go one better in the next few grand slams.

And congratulations to 23-year-old Rybakina – who now the Wimbledon ladies singles’ trophy – in her hands for the first time. Now she may have to improve on her build-up base where Rybakina was exposed by Jabeur earlier on. But how about we applaud her fightback, all-round game, patience and execution that helped earn her first major at SW19 – especially with a impressive tall build at 6 foot that got the best of her mind games. She quickly made up lost time from the 2nd set restart when Rybakina tied Jabeur at 1-1, before the path was hers once she took over the lead & controlled the court ever since on the run home. What a moment, what a championship win for the Kazakh. Let’s see if she can continue to be a consistent elite Top 5-10 grand slam player from now on.

For now, Australia is ready to back Nick Kyrgios later night in a bid to take home the gentlemen’s singles trophy against none other than Serbia’s Novak Djokovic.

#Tennis #Wimbledon #GrandSlam #OnsJabeur #ElenaRybakina #Tunisia #Kazakhstan #CentreCourt

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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.

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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.

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Another fantastic match to look back on Day 9 yesterday at Wimbledon was the ladies’ singles Quarter-Final between Marie Bouzkova from Czech Republc and Tunisian Ons Jabeur out on Centre Court. They both battled a couple of early duels before Bouzkova pulled off easily for the opening set lead. However, Jabeur had the last laugh when she came from a set down to a magnificent comeback over the next two sets – which was enough to book her a spot in the semis v German Tatjana Maria on Thursday. The final score was 6-3, 1-6, 1-6.

It was a fast start from Bouzkova where she was only one set away from shutting Jabeur down going into the 2nd set. She just couldn’t cope with Jabeur’s fightback, however, when the pressure began to mount on her going into the 3rd and final set at 1-1 apiece. Unfortunately – Bouzkova ran out of ideas to stop Jabeur’s renewed momentum in its tracks before the Tunisian confirmed her elimination on the run home. This was maiden grand slam singles QF though at age 23, as there’s plenty of room to improve going into the US Open late next month.

And what a comeback from Ons Jabeur as this will be her first ever grand slam semis here at Wimbledon. She may have lost some grip earlier on but she went back up and controlled the court in no time ever since. Doubling up an easy 1-6 spell over the next two sets with patience proved that she turned out to be the better all-round player than Bouzkova in the end. She’s has got everything it takes now to potentially advance through to the Final & also take home the ladies’ singles trophy for the first time – which would be a huge breakthrough moment from the 27-year old. But it remains to be seen if she can get past Tatjana Maria from Germany on Day 11 tomorrow.

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Apart from the three Aussies being confirmed in the men’s singles fourth round with Alex De Minaur, Jason Kubler & Nick Kyrgios; We do only have one player left over at the women’s singles side – also in the fourth round – in none other than Ajla Tomljanovic. She too came from behind to eliminate the 2021 French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova from Czech Republic – 6-2, 6-4, 6-3 at Court No.12.

It’s not the exit the Czech wanted following a great start to this tie with an easy first set spell. She just couldn’t build on to bring herself home first ever since with two missed opportunities being taken away. She struggled to bridge that 2nd half consistency before Tomljanovic stepped in to tie at 1-1 apiece, brought it to a 3rd set decider where she later lost the lead & now it’s too late. She also hasn’t had a great grand slam record lately following her 1st round elimination recently at the French Open. But she’s 26 having made the Quarter-Finals earlier this year at the Australian Open, as it’s still possible for her to end her 2022 grand slam season on a high just like it was last year in the Final 8 at the US Open.

Meanwhile, Congratulations to Tomljanovic with the win she deserves against one of the past grand slam champions on-display. She may be disappointed with the poor start there by Krejcikova. However, she never gave up when Tomljanovic began to make up lost time as this tie goes on. Not only she was better than her opponent when it comes to the 2nd half pull, but also the persistence & fightback that helped gave herself another lifeline going into the 3rd set decider. From there, it allowed her a bit more time to read about Krejcikova’s on-court approach/body language before Tomljanovic smashed her way past the finish line first for the win.

It will be interesting to see if she can get past Alize Cornet from France on Monday – who just eliminated World No.1 Iga Swiatek from Poland – also in the third round tie – 4-6, 2-6. Should she win once again, it will be back-to-back Final 8s for another year here at Wimbledon.

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