Wimbledon: Jabeur faces Sabalenka, Svitolina plays Vondrousova in women’s semis
Published 10:25 pm Wednesday, July 12, 2023
WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Aryna Sabalenka could tell before Wimbledon even started that Ons Jabeur would be one of the women to beat at the grass-court Grand Slam tournament.
And now the second-seeded Sabalenka awaits a matchup against the No. 6-seeded Jabeur in the semifinals on Thursday.
“Actually we practiced here before Wimbledon,” Sabalenka said of Jabeur. “I felt like she’s going to do well here because she played unbelievable tennis on the practice court. … We always had tough battles against each other, very close matches. I’m really looking forward for this great battle.”
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Sabalenka has been the most consistent performer in Grand Slams this year, winning the Australian Open and reaching the semifinals at the French Open before her run to the last four at the All England Club, where she beat Madison Keys in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.
Jabeur, meanwhile, is looking for her first major title after losing in the U.S. Open final last year. She came from a set down to beat defending champion Elena Rybakina in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.
Jabeur said she expects their semifinal to become “very emotional on the court” because both players are prone to show their feelings during matches.
“Probably her shouting that way, me shouting this way,” Jabeur said. “I’m going to try my best to stay focused and take every opportunity. Aryna is more emotional than Elena, so maybe it could be a good or bad thing, I’m not sure. But let’s see tomorrow.”
The other semifinal features two unseeded women — Elina Svitolina and Marketa Vondrousova.
Svitolina beat top-ranked Iga Swiatek on Tuesday to reach her first Grand Slam semifinal since returning to the tour after a break to have her first child. She also reached two major semis in 2019, the same year Vondrousova reached the French Open final. Vondrousova had never been past the second round at Wimbledon before this year, though, and missed the tournament the last two years with injuries.
WHEN ARE THURSDAY’S MATCHES?
First on Centre Court is Svitolina-Vondrousova at 1:30 p.m. local time, which is 8:30 a.m. EDT. That is followed by the Sabalenka-Jabeur match, which could begin around 3:30 p.m. local time, or 10:30 a.m. EDT. The men’s semifinals are played Friday.
WHAT WERE WEDNESDAY’S OTHER RESULTS?
Top-ranked Carlos Alcaraz beat No. 6 Holger Rune 7-6 (3), 6-4, 6-4 on Centre Court in the first men’s quarterfinal at Wimbledon in the Open era that featured two players who are under the age of 21. Both Alcaraz and Rune are 20. On No. 1 Court, Chris Eubanks saw his surprising run end in a five-set loss to Daniil Medvedev. The third-seeded Medvedev won 6-4, 1-6, 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-1 to reach the Wimbledon semifinals for the first time. Alcaraz faces Medvedev in the semis on Friday, while defending champion Novak Djokovic plays Jannik Sinner.
HOW TO WATCH WIMBLEDON ON TV
— In the U.S.: ESPN, Tennis Channel
— Other countries listed here.
Not surprisingly, Djokovic (minus-630) is an overwhelming favorite against Sinner (plus-450), according to FanDuel Sportsbook. If you think Djokovic will need five sets to win, the line is plus-450. In the other semifinal, Alcaraz is a narrower pick, at minus-265 against Medvedev (plus-210). A Medvedev win in five sets pays plus-600.
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What you need to know about Wimbledon, the year’s third Grand Slam tennis tournament:
TAKE A TENNIS QUIZ
Try your hand at the AP’s Wimbledon quiz.
THE NUMBER TO KNOW
321 — The number of winners hit by Chris Eubanks in his five matches at this year’s tournament. That breaks the mark for most winners in a single Wimbledon tournament set by Andre Agassi in 1992 on his way to the title that year.
THE QUOTE TO KNOW
“Once you get into the court, there are no friends” — Carlos Alcaraz about playing fellow 20-year-old Holger Rune, whom he once played doubles with as a kid.
UPCOMING SINGLES SCHEDULE
— Thursday: Women’s Semifinals
— Friday: Men’s Semifinals
— Saturday: Women’s Final
— Sunday: Men’s Final