Google Down the Line!: PREVIEW: Wimbledon Women's Semifinal Showdowns

Thursday, July 5, 2007

PREVIEW: Wimbledon Women's Semifinal Showdowns

The final four Ladies of Wimby are all set for their semifinal showdowns. Here's a preview:

Venus "V" Williams vs. Ana Ivanovic

Head-to-head: Williams, 2-0
Last meeting: Luxembourg '06, Williams 6-3, 6-4

No. 23 seed V put on another sterling performance handling No. 5 seed Sveta Kuznetsova in the quarterfinals 6-3, 6-4. It was V's first win over the powerful Russian in 3 matches this year. No.6 seed Ivanovic won the battle of the "beauty teens" saving 3 match points and outlasting Czech Nikki Vaidisova, the 12th seed (and my darkhorse), 4-6, 6-2, 7-5.

Here's what V said about playing her next opponent:

"[Ivanovic and Vaidisova] are both very good players, a lot of talent, a lot of power, a lot of potential. They both love the game. I think they're both very similar. They both have similar games to me. It will just be a matter of me playing that game a little better."

Here's Ana talking about V:

"It's going to be very tough match. Venus is in a great shape. They played amazingly last couple of matches. It's going to be very tough. But I have experience. I played on Centre Court already. So I just want to go tomorrow and enjoy, try to play the best I can and see who will be better tomorrow."

Outlook: V, a 3-time Wimby champ, has the edge in every category over the Serb, so on paper this is a match she should win. Tracy Austin for has already given V a passport to the title. But which Venus will show up to play?

Justine Henin vs. Marion Bartoli

Head-to-head: Henin, 2-0
Last meeting: Eastbourne '07, Henin 6-1, 6-3

As the No. 1 seed Justine truly established herself as best in the world and earned another chance at the Venus Rosewater Dish by beating 8-time Slam winner and No. 7 seed Serena "ReRe" Willaims 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. This win was Henin's first over ReRe on a non-clay court - an important win for the fiery Belgian. France's Bartoli, the No. 18 seed, is this year's Wimby Surprise Semifinalist (isn't there always one?) winning her quarterfinal over 18 year old Michaella Krajichek of the Netherlands, the 31st seed, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Here's Justine on her upcoming semifinal:

"Well, still going match after match. I have a semifinal now. Still that's how I build something good, I hope. On Friday it's going to be another tough match. Even if on the paper I'm going to be the favorite, it's going to be another kind of story on the court. So it's still too early to talk about it. It would mean a lot, but still have a lot of work to do."

Here's Bartoli on playing Justine:

"I've been through some big stage already against some big players and in some tough situation, finals of tournaments. I'm not afraid to play against the big players. Not afraid. It's going to be my first time on Centre Court. I'm very happy to be for the first time on Centre Court in Wimbledon. I will really enjoy that moment."

Outlook: Justine, welcome to Wimby final #3. Could the third time be the charm?

Tell me who your picks are for tomorrow's women's semifinals!

(images courtesy of AP Photos)

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