Breaking Down the Wimbledon Semifinals with Barty and Djokovic as Heavy Favorites

Breaking Down the Wimbledon Semifinals with Barty and Djokovic as Heavy Favorites

5 min read

Wimbledon is entering the final stretch with four men and four women remaining. Before play began, Universal Tennis INSIGHTS calculated the win probability of every player in the draw, and No. 1 seeds Ashleigh Barty and Novak Djokovic have improved their winning odds.

Universal Tennis INSIGHTS Title-Winning Odds

Ashleigh Barty — 49%

Aryna Sabalenka — 34%

Karolina Pliskova — 9%

Angelique Kerber — 8%

Novak Djokovic — 65%

Matteo Berrettini — 24%

Denis Shapovalov — 8%

Hubert Hurkacz — 3%

INSIGHTS has helped break down the matchups and there is a lot to unpack as the women take the court on Thursday and the men face off on Friday.

(1) Ashleigh Barty (UTR Rating 13.31) vs. (25) Angelique Kerber (UTR Rating 12.76)

INSIGHTS has Barty favored to reach her first Wimbledon final over the 33-year-old German at 79%. On Tuesday, Kerber eased past Karolina Muchova in straight sets, while Barty made quick work of Ajla Tomljanovic.

Barty and Kerber are 2-2 in career meetings but haven’t played each other in nearly three years. Barty has the advantage in every INSIGHTS category, with an especially big difference in record against common opponents (10-2 compared to Kerber’s 8-7). Kerber, who won her first title in three years heading into this fortnight, hasn’t been to a Grand Slam final since winning Wimbledon in 2018.



(2) Aryna Sabalenka (UTR Rating 13.18) vs. (8) Karolina Pliskova (UTR Rating 12.78)

INSIGHTS gives Sabalenka the higher win probability at 72%, even though the Belarusian is playing in her first Grand Slam semifinal. Pliskova, a 2016 US Open finalist, has more experience at this level and has been dominant in every match, having yet to lose a set and making quick work of her last five opponents, giving up more than two games in a set just three times.

Like with Barty against Kerber, Sabalenka has the upper hand in every INSIGHTS category, including UTR Ratings, record versus common opponents, and highest-rated win (Barty). Sabalenka has beaten Pliskova twice but hasn’t shared a court with the Czech since 2018.

(1) Novak Djokovic (UTR Rating 16.10) vs. (10) Denis Shapovalov (UTR Rating 15.43)

Djokovic was too much for first-time quarterfinalist Marton Fucsovics, winning 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 on Wednesday to move to two wins away from his 20th Grand Slam title. INSIGHTS expects the top seed to beat Shapovalov with an 85% win probability and the advantage in every category, including a recent head-to-head win.

Djokovic is 6-0 in career meetings against the 22-year-old Canadian and beat him in straight sets at this year’s ATP Cup. They’ve played a best-of-five match just once, at the 2019 Australian Open, which Djokovic went on to win.



Shapovalov bested Karen Khachanov in five dramatic sets to reach his first Grand Slam semifinal, and is feeling confident despite the odds.

“I believe in my game. I think I’ve been playing really, really good tennis,” Shapovalov said. “To beat these players with the way I’ve been playing, it’s not easy to do. So I have full belief in myself and in my game that I’m able to win on Friday.”

(7) Matteo Berrettini (UTR Rating 15.67) vs. (14) Hubert Hurkacz (UTR Rating 15.18)

Hurkacz stunned eight-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-0 to book a place in his maiden Grand Slam semifinal. Though a relative newcomer to the top echelon of the game, the 24-year-old Pole won his biggest title in Miami earlier this year. Before this fortnight, he had never been beyond the third round of a major.

"Obviously I was a little bit nervous," Hurkacz said. "Playing against Roger in a Grand Slam quarterfinal, it’s a very big thing for me, but I was trying to stay as calm as I could... Walking off the court realizing that I won against Roger, it's just a dream come true, especially here on grass at Wimbledon. "



After ending Felix Auger-Aliassime’s breakthrough run in four sets, Berrettini will be playing in his second Grand Slam semifinal following a similarly deep run at the 2019 US Open. INSIGHTS gives Berrettini the higher likelihood of reaching the Wimbledon final with a 75% win probability. The 25-year-old Italian has the higher UTR Ratings and a better win-loss record over the last 15 months.

Stay tuned for more from INSIGHTS, and to learn more about Universal Tennis, click here.

•UTR Ratings and INSIGHTS probabilities as of 3 p.m. EST, July 7, 2021.

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