🇬🇧 Wimbledon SF: 🇦🇺 (1) Ash Barty vs. 🇩🇪 (25) Angelique Kerber
A blockbuster semi-final match-up from SW19 features a pair of former Grand Slam champions as the top seeded Ash Barty takes on 3-time major champion Angelique Kerber. A fascinating match-up between two proven champions, two ladies that are extremely comfortable on the grass, two players full of confidence at the moment, expect a high-quality contest. Who wins?
Neither player has necessarily been at their best for the entire tournament, both dropping sets in the early stages, but both are finding their best form at the business end of the tournament. Barty snapped reigning Roland Garros champion Barbora Krejcikova’s 15-match winning streak in the fourth round before comfortably accounting for Ajla Tomljanovic to book a spot in a maiden Wimbledon semi-final.
Ashleigh Barty’s route to the semi-finals:
R1: Def. Carla Suarez Navarro 6-1 6-7 6-1
R2: Def. Anna Blinkova 6-4 6-3
R3: Def. Katerina Siniakova 6-3 7-5
R4: Def. (14) Barbora Krejcikova 7-5 6-3
QF: Def. Ajla Tomljanovic 6-1 6-3
Angelique Kerber route to the semi-finals:
R1: Def. Nina Stojanovic 6-4 6-3
R2: Def. Sara Sorribes Tormo 7-5 5-7 6-4
R3: Def. Aliaksandra Sasnovich 2-6 6-0 6-1
R4: Def. (20) Cori Gauff 6-4 6-4
QF: Def. (19) Karolina Muchova 6-2 6-3
Angelique Kerber dropped sets to Sara Sorribes Tormo and Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the first week but has been far more clinical in the second week with commanding straight set wins over Cori Gauff and Karolina Muchova to progress to her 8th Grand Slam semi-final, her 4th at Wimbledon.
Kerber holds a 3-2 head-to-head record over Barty, their most recent meeting was at the Hopman Cup at the start of 2019, Kerber won that match 6-4 6-4, much has changed since then. It will be interesting to see how their first meeting on a grass court unfolds, especially with so much on the line.
I’ll be siding with the 2018 Wimbledon champion. This is arguably the worst possible match-up for Barty on a grass court, she faces the best counterpuncher on tour on her favourite surface. If there’s any type of opponent that Barty can struggle with, it’s a top level, consistent baseliner, the Aussie has had problems with players such Sofia Kenin, Elina Svitolina, Simona Halep and Angelique Kerber herself. Kerber’s strengths specifically counter Barty’s strengths. Kerber’s movement, consistency and ability at end range make her a problematic match-up for Barty. Kerber won’t be too bothered by Barty’s versatility, and the Aussie is unlikely to consistently hit through the German enough to get the win. Kerber will be happy to pound away at the Barty backhand and will clinically finish into the open spaces that present. Kerber is more experienced at stage of a major and has shown that she can handle the occasion better than Barty has in the past.
Prediction: Angelique Kerber to defeat Ash Barty in 2 sets