Krejcikova downs Ostapenko to reach Wimbledon last four

LONDON  -  Barbora Krejcikova reached her first Wimbledon semi-final on Wednesday with a 6-4 7-6(4) win over Latvian 13th seed Jelena Ostapenko in the battle of former French Open champions.

The Czech 31st seed kept her composure from the back of the court to force her opponent into 35 unforced errors across the match as Ostapenko’s bid for a second Grand Slam title since her first in 2017 unravelled on Court One which, on a rare occasion this tournament, had its roof open. The 28-year-old will face 2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina in the semi-finals.

Ostapenko, 27, had power in her serve but struggled to place it, landing less than 50% of her first serve during the opening set. Krejcikova, French Open champion in 2021, broke in the third game and went on to clinch the opener. Ostapenko rallied to break her opponent in the second set and open a 4-1 lead. However, mistakes once again dogged her game as she went from ruefully smiling one minute and ranting at her coaches in the player’s box the next.

Krejcikova stayed focused and put together a run of four winning games to go 5-4 up. However, she was broken when serving for the match as Ostapenko extended her stay in the tournament a little while the sun peeked through the clouds. The match went to a tiebreak and a brilliant crosscourt forehand from Krejcikova found the far line to give her a mini-break from which she went on to close out the match, sealing her first win over the Latvian in their four most recent encounters.

“I don’t have any words right now. Just a minute ago, I told myself that I’m going to leave here everything I have and I’m really happy that I did and yeah, it’s a great moment for me,” Krejcikova said on court. “It’s an unbelievable moment that I’m experiencing right now in my tennis career.”

That Krejcikova has won five consecutive matches on grass for the first time in her career is all the more remarkable given she only had three wins on the Tour in February to June this year as she recovered from illness. “It was a very, very difficult period. It was actually super difficult even before this tournament. I really want to thank my team that is there today,” she added.

The rare sighting of the sun at this year’s Wimbledon championships provided no incentive for Elena Rybakina to linger around longer than necessary on Centre Court as she ended Elina Svitolina’s quarter-final challenge with a 6-3 6-2 defeat. Over the course of the last five days, the grasscourt major had started to resemble an indoor tournament with matches on the two main showcourts taking place under cover.

With the retractable roof on Centre Court finally open under a clear blue sky on Wednesday, spectators flocking into the 15,000 seater arena were hoping that the Rybakina-Svitolina duel would be a long and thrilling one. After all this was the only singles match they were going to get to watch on day 10 of the championships since Novak Djokovic’s quarter-final with Alex de Minaur had already been cancelled after the Australian pulled out with a hip injury, handing the Serbian a walkover.

All the fans got in return for their £200 ($260) Centre Court tickets was one hour and one minute of singles action. Giving value for money to the punters was not exactly high on the priority list for Rybakina. All the fourth seed wanted was to take the win and move another step closer to lifting the Venus Rosewater Dish for the second time in three years the quicker the better.


Australian Alex De Minaur pulled out of his Wimbledon quarter-final against second seed Novak Djokovic on Wednesday due to a hip injury, sending the Serbian into a record-equalling 13th semi-final at the grasscourt Grand Slam. Ninth seed De Minaur sustained the injury in the closing stages of his 6-2 6-4 4-6 6-3 fourth-round win over Frenchman Arthur Fils on Monday.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt