In what is set to be a largely unexpected semifinal in the 2019 Wimbledon Championships, former World No. 1 Serena Williams will face the doubles veteran Barbora Strycova. The match will take place on July 11 and will start after 2:00 pm local time. Get Serena Williams v Barbora Strycova live streaming options with the preview here.
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Serena Williams v Barbora Strycova Head to Head
The two players have met only thrice on the tour and all of their three meetings have come in the majors. Serena is heading into this fixture with a 3-0 lead, last defeating the Czech in the 2017 Australian Open.
The duo have also met in the Wimbledon, back in 2012.
Yet Another Trailblazing Run for Williams
Serena Williams has reached the final in two of her last four Grand Slam appearances although, those two events took place last year. The American hasn’t looked that sharp this year and to a great deal, that loss in form can be attributed to injuries.
Aiming to reach her first final on the WTA Tour since the US Open last season, Williams has played in only five tournaments so far. Of those five, the 37-year-old was forced to retire from three due to health-related concerns. This includes her third round match in Indian Wells and Miami, and the second round in Rome.
Her last event was the French Open where she fell to Sofia Kenin in the third round.
Arriving in London with practically no grass court preparations, Williams found herself as the number 11 seed in a tricky bracket with Angelique Kerber, Maria Sharapova, Belinda Bencic and Ash Barty. But with time, her path to the glory got considerably easier with early upsets.
Doing what she does best, Williams blasted past the likes of Giulia Gatto-Monticone, Kaja Juvan, Julia Goerges, and Carla Suarez Navarro. In the quarterfinal, she knocked out the dangerous-looking Alison Riske in three sets to reach yet another semifinal in London.
With a strong first service game, it has been pretty difficult to stop the 23-time Grand Slam winner. In fact, in her game against Riske, she blasted 19 aces and 49 winners to win the match that tested her stamina.
Strycova, the Dark Horse
There is no denying that Strycova is an excellent doubles player. She is currently ranked Doubles No. 3 with 26 doubles title of her name, including the one from Madrid most recently.
As a singles player, however, she has won only two titles, the most recent of which is the 2017 Linz Open. Even in Grand Slams, the best Barbora Strycova has done is reaching the quarterfinal in Wimbledon, five years ago. As for her last five attempts in majors, the Czech never moved past the fourth round.
So, to see World No. 54 win a bracket dominated by the likes of Kiki Bertens, Elise Mertens, and Petra Kvitova, is certainly an astonishing feat. It gets more intriguing upon the realisation that Strycova lost the opening match in four of her last five tournaments on the tour.
To achieve the impossible, Strycova knocked out four seeded players. Starting with Lesia Tsurenko, she defeated World No. 4 Kiki Bertens, Belgian No. 1 Elise Mertens and lastly, the big one, local favourite Johanna Konta. With the exception of her match against Mertens, Strycova won rest of her matches in straight sets.
Call it luck, endurance, or experience, Strycova’s game has been on an entirely different level in London. She is also playing the doubles with Su-Wei Hsieh and is set to meet the pair of Kristina Mladenovic and Timea Babos tomorrow in the semifinal.
Williams v Strycova Prediction & Tips
There is a strong possibility that Strycova may retire before the next edition of Wimbledon and will be sure to give her everything now. She is an experienced player who is facing Williams at a time when she isn’t as invincible as she once was. Defeating some big names en route to the semifinal will be a massive inspiration for the Czech, no doubt.
At the same time, Williams is a player capable of pulling the wins at any point in time. After all, we are talking about a player who won the Australian Open 2017 while being pregnant. All in all, this will be a thrilling affair where Serena will be tested again.
Tip: Three sets in the match. (888Sport)