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2021 Wimbledon: Barty, Kerber Forge Semifinal Showdown; Sabalenka, Pliskova Also Advance : OTHER : Sports World News




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2021 Wimbledon: Barty, Kerber Forge Semifinal Showdown; Sabalenka, Pliskova Also Advance

LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 06: Ashleigh Barty of Australia hits a forehand against Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia in the quarter finals of the ladies singles during Day Eight of The Championships – Wimbledon 2021 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 06, 2021 in London, England. (Photo : TPN/Getty Images)

Ashleigh Barty, Angelique Kerber, Aryna Sabalenka, and Karolina Pliskova are through to the semis of the 2021 Wimbledon Championships after recording convincing straight-set wins in their respective quarterfinal matches on Tuesday.

Ashleigh Barty reached the Wimbledon semifinals for the first time in her career, defeating Australian compatriot Ajla Tomljanovic, 6-1, 6-3, in a match that lasted just one hour and six minutes. It was an impressive performance by Barty, who became the first Australian woman to reach the last four at Wimbledon since Jelena Dokic in 2000.

Barty, Kerber forge semis clash in a battle of former Grand Slam champions

Barty cruised through the opening set of the first all-Australian ladies quarterfinal at the All England Club in 41 years, winning six consecutive games, three of which were to love. She continued her dominance in the second set, eventually finishing the contest with her fifth ace of the match.

Even with the defeat, it was still a fantastic run by Tomljanovic, who was appearing in her first Grand Slam quarterfinal at the age of 28. She had no answer for the world no. 1, who moved a step closer to achieving her goal of winning the Wimbledon title on the 50th anniversary of fellow indigenous Australian Evonne Goolagong Cawley’s first title win.

Barty will have her work cut out for her in the semifinals as she will next face the red-hot Angelique Kerber. The 2018 Wimbledon champion continued her fine form in the tournament, dismantling Karolina Muchova, 6-2, 6-3, in the quarters in just an hour and 15 minutes.

Kerber has now won 10 consecutive matches on grass, having captured the inaugural Bad Homburg Open in her home country of Germany back in June. She has rebounded strongly after losing in straight sets in the first round at Roland Garros. Kerber improved to 3-0 against Muchova and 7-0 against the Czech opposition at Grand Slam tournaments with the victory.

The 33-year-old has now reached the semifinals of the grass-court major for the fourth time in her career. She defeated 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams in the 2018 finals and finished runner-up to Williams in 2016. Kerber also reached the Wimbledon semis back in 2012.

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Sabalenka, Pliskova reach maiden Wimbledon semis

Squaring off in Thursday’s other semifinal are Aryna Sabalenka and Karolina Pliskova. Sabalenka reached her maiden Grand Slam semifinal with a 6-4 6-3 victory over Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur, the first Arab woman to reach the last eight at Wimbledon.

Jabeur’s run to the quarterfinals was simply magical, defeating Grand Slam champions Venus Williams, Garbine Muguruza, and Iga Swiatek. However, she met her match against Sabalenka, who, like her, had won a WTA Tour-leading 33 matches this year.

With the win, Sabalenka became the third Belarusian woman to reach the last four of Wimbledon, following Natasha Zvereva in 1998 and Victoria Azarenka, who pulled the feat in 2011 and 2012. She had never advanced past the fourth round of a Grand Slam before this tournament.

Karolina Pliskova, the 2016 U.S. Open champion, also reached the Wimbledon last four for the first time with a 6-2 6-2 victory over Switzerland’s Viktorija Golubic.

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