As usual, the women have not disappointed at a major, with the WTA once again providing themselves the masters at unpredictability. So what can be expect from the Wimbledon semi-finals?
The players in profile
World ranking: 8
Career high ranking: 3 (September 2011)
Career singles titles: 13
Grand Slam titles: 0
World ranking: 7
Career high ranking: 1 (Twice)
Career singles titles: 18
Grand Slam titles: 1
To date, Svitolina and Halep have faced each other seven times, with the Ukrainian leading 4-3.
One of those matches was in a first round early in their careers in Sofia, which Halep won, but all the rest have been very significant.
They have played each other in two finals, with Svitolina winning them both, and two other semi-finals, which they have shared.
Halep, though, has won their only match this season, a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 success in Doha.
Interestingly, this will be their first meeting on grass, so in many ways, as tends to be the case where grass court tennis is concerned, all bets are off with regard their previous records.
Svitolina hasn’t had the best of times at the All England Club, in truth. Before this year, her best performance came in 2017, when she got to the round-of-16.
In her other previous five visits to Wimbledon, three of them have ended in the first round, including last year, so we really are in new territory with the Ukrainian here.
Halep has been here before, in 2014, when she lost to Eugenie Bouchard in the semi-final. That one will have stung because she didn’t really perform on the day.
It has taken her five years to get back here, with two of those attempts ending at the quarter-final stage, but one in the first round too.
It’s quite hard to see past Simona Halep for this one. She is in great form and has admitted herself she is probably producing her best ever tennis on grass right now.
She also has the advantage of having been there before in Grand Slams, where as Svitolina is breaking completely new ground in her career here.
Wimbledon can sometimes be a little too big for players and you do wonder if that will be the case for Svitolina on Thursday.
And, if it is the case, the usually ruthless dog-fighter Halep is probably the last person you want to rely on to have an off-day, and as such finds herself as the preferred choice for backing with bet-at-home.
The players in profile
World ranking: 11
Career high ranking: 1 (Multiple)
Career singles titles: 72
Grand Slam titles: 23
World ranking: 54
Career high ranking: 16 (January, 2016)
Career singles titles: 2
Grand Slam titles: 0
Considering their ages, it’s perhaps surprising that these two players have only met three times before. What will be less surprising is that Williams has won all three.
The reason they have generally avoided each other is because Strycova is more a doubles specialist. She is actually ranked third in the world as a doubles player right now, so this will be something very new for her.
They have, though, met before at Wimbledon.
Their paths crossed in the first round in 2012, with Williams easing to a 6-2, 6-4 win, and Serena is odds of 1.63 with bet-at-home to take the win in straight sets again.
Due to Strycova focusing more on doubles which limits her singles appearances, all three of their matches have come at Grand Slams.
The other two both came in the Australian Open (2012 and 2017) and, perhaps ominously for Strycova, she has never managed to take a set from Williams before.
There is only one woman on the planet who has a better Wimbledon record than Serena Williams, and that is Martina Navratilova.
Williams has seven singles titles at SW19 to date, with the lats one coming back in 2016. She has also been in a further three finals, including last year.
Strycova has played Wimbledon 15 times before and this is her best performance. Until now, the quarter-final in 2014 was her best.
That, actually, was her best performance at any Grand Slam – until now.
It’s going to take a VERY brave person to bet against Williams in this one. She has all the pedigree, all the experience, and all the history – and the backing of bet-at-home according to their latest odds, too.
For Strycova, it’s basically a free hit. She can go out there and have a go, and if she plays like she did against Johanna Konta in the quarter-final, she may have half a chance.
But Williams is looking stronger with every match she plays and she remains the very best grass court player in the world, so Strycova even taking set off her would have to be considered a surprise.
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