2024 Wimbledon Women's SF Preview: Krejcikova vs. Rybakina; Vekic vs. Paolini

2024 Wimbledon Women's SF Preview: Krejcikova vs. Rybakina; Vekic vs. Paolini

The top favorites are long gone, which means opportunities abound in the Wimbledon 2024 Ladies’ Singles Draw. Let’s preview the women’s semifinals with UTR Sports INSIGHTS.

31) Barbora Krejcikova (UTR Rating 12.37) vs. 4) Elena Rybakina (12.98)

Both Krejcikova and Rybakina have Grand Slam titles to their names. Krejcikova won the 2021 Roland Garros title and is in only her second Grand Slam semifinal.

Rybakina has shown how comfortable she feels on the grass, having won the title at SW19 in 2022. She’s reached one other final as well, at the 2023 Australian Open.

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And she’s looked as comfortable as ever this fortnight, dropping only one set and routing Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina, the 21st seed, 6-3, 6-2 in the quarterfinals.

“I have amazing memories from 2022 and I enjoy it every time I’m on this court,” Rybakina said, according to Wimbledon.org. “I don’t like being called the favorite but I have an aggressive game.”

Krejcikova, for her part, is battle-tested, having beaten American Danielle Collins to reach her first Wimbledon quarterfinal. And Krejcikova backed that up with a straight-set win against Jelena Ostapenko 6-4, 7-6(4) to make the semifinals.

“It’s an unbelievable moment that I’m experiencing right now in my tennis career,” she said, according to Wimbledon.org.

Krejcikova owns their head-to-head series, having won both times they’ve played, with the most recent coming in Ostrava in 2022. She has plenty of other Grand Slam semifinal and finals experience as well, having won seven women’s doubles titles and three mixed doubles titles.

But INSIGHTS has Rybakina as the overwhelming favorite to reach her third Grand Slam final and second at the All England Club. INSIGHTS pegs Rybakina as a 80% favorite.

Donna Vekic (12.37) vs. 7) Jasmine Paolini (12.72)

Before the 2024 Wimbledon, 28-year-old Vekic had reached only two Grand Slam quarterfinals, and Italy’s Paolini, also 28, had never won a match at Wimbledon. To understate the obvious, a lot has changed.

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Vekic of Croatia is through to her first major championship semifinal, and Paolini has made back-to-back Grand Slam semifinals, after making the Roland Garros final last month.

Neither player has taken the easy road to their first Wimbledon semifinal. Vekic has been pushed to three sets in all of her matches except one. “I felt like I was dying out there during the first two sets,” she said after her three-set quarterfinal win against Lulu Sun of New Zealand.

In the fourth round, Paolini was down 2-5 in the third set against American Madison Keys but advanced when Keys retired at 5-5 because of injury.

In the quarterfinals, Paolini left no doubt, dominating American Emma Navarro (Coco Gauff’s conqueror) 6-2, 6-1. From 2-2 in the first set, the Italian won 10 of the final 11 games to become the first Italian woman to make the last four at Wimbledon.

“When I'm not smiling, it means that I'm not feeling great,” she said. “My coach is always worried when I don't smile in the practice, in the match. He said to me always to enjoy, to smile because it's important for myself, for me as a person. So just, you know, smile and take it easy.”

INSIGHTS predicts that Paolini will still be smiling come Thursday evening. INSIGHTS has her a 68% favorite to reach her back-to-back major championship finals.

UTR Ratings and INSIGHTS probabilities accurate as of 10 p.m. ET, July 10, 2024.

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