Final Four; Serena v Barbora & Elina v Simona

It has been fun to get here but now we have our final four for the semi-finals on Thursday but who will be competing for a place in the final on Saturday?

Simona Halep v Elina Svitolina

I’m super happy both players are here to be honest. It’s been a tough season but they two of the tours best fighters.

Simona Halep is into her first Grand Slam semi-final since she won at the French Open last year and for Elina Svitolina it is her first semi-final at a Grand Slam. This also comes with a record being the first Ukrainian tennis player into the semi-final of a major.

Since May of 2017 they have played each other six times, Elina has won four and Halep two but Halep has won their only meeting this year in Doha 6-3 3-6 6-4 and none of their meetings have been on grass.

What has impressed me about Simona Halep? Mentally strong, forehand is looking good with added height and top-spin as well as her general movement around the court.

When I say mentally strong, she has looked so locked in and composed and I could tell you the last time I saw that a major tournament, probably the French last year when she won. I thought she played very well in Madrid when I saw her live for the first time but badly fell away in the final there.

Her forehand has looked strong as well. Hitting it with a bit more top-spin and net clearance finding the deeper part of the court and really stepping in at the right time.

Svitolina has hit the ball well all tournament. She’s looked shaky v Gaspayran and looked like going home but her groundstrokes have been like bullets.

She seems confident and it’s great to see. She has bounced around the court with enthusiasm and is playing her best tennis of the year right now. She is a tough nut to crack and this day off will be interesting to see how both deal with it.

Serena Williams v Barbora Strycova

What a story for Barbora Strycova, rumour has it this could be her final year on the tour but the 33 year old is into her first Grand Slam semi-final!

For Serena Williams, this is her 37th Grand Slam semi-final but Barbora will bring a test.

I am expecting some nerves from Strycova but she has the personality and game to cause trouble. This is a big moment for Serena but I’m sure she will see it as another match. I like how well she has played this tournament.

She is serving well, moving better now the knee isn’t a big problem and striking the ball well. It did go a little off the boil at the end of the second and start of the third against Riske for the former champion but if she puts her hair in a bun, it means business!

Strycova will run, bring that variety and will have to mix things up to stand a chance here. She has that sliced backhand which she can bring out from no-where and she isn’t going to beat Serena from the baseline and will have to try and draw her in.

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