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Kerber, Barty, Pliskova and Sabalenka march into last four at Wimbledon

Earlier today in the men’s, second seed Medvedev was knocked out by Hurkacz, who now faces Roger Federer for a place in the semis.

Pliskova celebrates winning.
Pliskova celebrates winning.
Image: PA

Updated Jul 6th 2021, 8:20 PM

FORMER CHAMPION ANGELIQUE Kerber reached the Wimbledon semi-finals for the fourth time on Tuesday with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic.

The German world number 28, who won the title in 2018, will face top seed Ashleigh Barty next for a place in Saturday’s final.

“It’s a magical place for me,” said Kerber, who is a three-time major winner, after securing the 80th victory of her career on grass.

“I was excited to play the grass court season after a one year break. I am so happy having my heart on the court and enjoying my time.”

“I really enjoy every moment here. It was a tight match, she played really well and I knew I had to play my best tennis today.”

Barty kept alive her dream of winning the title on the 50th anniversary of fellow indigenous Australian Evonne Goolagong Cawley’s first win, by easing into the last four.

The 25-year-old outclassed unseeded compatriot Ajla Tomljanovic 6-1, 6-3 to set up what promises to be a far more serious test of her ability on Thursday when she faces 2018 champion Kerber.

Barty is the first Australian woman to reach the last four at Wimbledon since Jelena Dokic in 2000.

“It’s the ultimate test,” said Barty. “Angie’s had success here before. I love that match-up. She knows her way around this court and I know I need to play well to give myself a chance in that match. This is a dream come true.”

Earlier today, Karolina Pliskova reached her first Wimbledon semi-final with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Switzerland’s Viktorija Golubic.

Former world number one Pliskova, now ranked 13, will face either Belarus second seed Aryna Sabalenka for a place in Saturday’s final.

Pliskova has yet to win a Grand Slam title with her best performance at the majors a runners-up spot at the 2016 US Open.

“I’m super-happy to be through to my first semi-final at Wimbledon,” said the 29-year-old Czech who will be playing in her fourth Slam semi-final.

Her last appearance in a major semi-final was at the 2019 Australian Open.

“This was my first appearance on Court One this year and I had to work really hard to get to this court. I feel like I am improving with every match.”

Pliskova has yet to drop a set at Wimbledon this year and has been broken just three times in five rounds.

Her eight aces on Tuesday, meanwhile, took her tournament tally to 40.

“I have had good preparation and hopefully this will continue.”

And Sabalenka ended Ons Jabeur’s historic run, the second-seeded Belarus player’s power getting the better of the guile of the Tunisian 6-4, 6-3 in 74 minutes.

The 23-year-old, who had only won one match on her three previous visits to Wimbledon, will play former world number one Pliskova.

Jabeur departs having lost in her second Grand Slam quarter-final.

However, the 26-year-old has done wonders in her goal to use her exploits to encourage young Arab women — especially North African — to take up the sport.

Sabalenka may sport a tiger tattoo — which prompted her parents not to speak to her for a week in 1998 — but the broadest of smiles spread across her face as she soaked up the reality of her achievement.

She will try and go one better than compatriot Viktoria Azarenka who twice reached the last four in 2011 and 2012.

“I mean I am really happy with this win,” she said. “It’s always tough against Ons, she’s an amazing player and person.

“I’m happy it looks like everything is working for me. It’s really tricky, shots on the grass.

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“It’s sometimes hard to do anything with the ball. It fits my game and I’m really enjoying my time on the court.”

Sabalenka said she was anticipating a tough battle on Thursday against Pliskova.

“It doesn’t matter what happens in the past in tennis (playing Pliskova),” she said.

“Piskova’s a great player and she’s serving well. Her game fits really well on the grass and I’m going to do all I can to enjoy this one.”

Earlier today, Hubert Hurkacz became just the fourth Polish man to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals with a five-set win over Russian second seed Daniil Medvedev.

World number 18 Hurkacz triumphed 2-6, 7-6 (7/2), 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a match held over from Monday due to rain and will now face Roger Federer for a place in the semi-finals.

The 24-year-old follows in the footsteps of fellow Poles who made the last-eight — Wojtek Fibak (1980) and Jerzy Janowicz and Lukasz Kubot (2013).

© – AFP, 2021

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