History, legend, redemption, and fairy tale: the 2017 Wimbledon ladies’ semifinals will be of high quality.
Starting at 13:00 local time (8:00 EDT), on the mythical Centre Court, four of the best players in the world will square off for a spot in the final of the third Grand Slam of the season.
Redemption vs Fairy tale
The first match will oppose Garbiñe Muguruza and Magdalena Rybarikova.
The Spaniard put an end to Angelique Kerber’s reign at the top of the rankings in a battle of champions, before having the better of Svetlana Kuznetsova in the quarter-finals.
This semifinal appearance is quite the redemption for Muguruza, whose ranking (15) is at it lowest since June, 2015 (20). She is currently playing better than we have seen her in a long time.
Can she reach her first major final since her 2016 French Open championship?
On the other side of the net will be the fairy tale of the tournament. At 28 years of age, Rybarikova is having the best major of her career. Until this Wimbledon, she had never passed the third round of a Grand Slam.
In this tournament, the Slovakian has defeated Monica Niculescu, before upsetting third seed (and future world number one) Karolina Pliskova. She then topped Lesia Tsurenko and Petra Martic, before her convincing 6-3, 6-3 win over CoCo Vendeweghe in the quarter-finals.
An authentic fairy tale for the World N°87.
Can she take it a step further and reach her first Grand Slam final?
History vs Legend
The second semifinal will be the duel of history and legend.
On one side of the net, Johanna Konta. The highest seed left in the draw became the first British woman since Virginia Wade in 1978 to reach the semifinals of the Championships. She won a titanic battle against Donna Vekic in the second round, and survived the powerful Caroline Garcia two rounds later.
In the quarter-finals, Konta fought for 2h38 to edge Simona Halep 6-7(2), 7-6(5), 6-4, thus denying the Romanian the throne of the WTA rankings. In front of Ms. Wade, she did what no British woman had done in 39 years, and will now try to bring it a step further. On Thursday, the sixth seed will try to become the first British woman since Wade (1977) to reach the Wimbledon final. Wade had then won the whole tournament.
The task will be a difficult one for Konta, as on the other side of the net will be the legend: Venus Williams. Oldest woman to reach the last four of Wimbledon since Martina Navratilova in 1994, the 37-year-old did so with dropping just a set.
In the quarter-finals, Williams put an end to the hopes of Jelena Ostapenko, defeating the French Open champion 6-3, 7-5.
On her tenth semifinal appearance at the Championships, the American will try to reach the final of a ninth time.
History and Konta or the Legend and Williams? This match promises to be amazing.
(Photos: Getty Images; Header montage: BATennis World)