Barbora Krejcikova upsets in-form Jelena Ostapenko, sets up semi-final showdown with Elena Rybakina at Wimbledon

Wednesday, 10 July 2024 at 15:50
At first it seemed like Barbora Krejcikova was going to finish before Elena Rybakina and be the first to book her semi-final spot at Wimbledon in the top section. But she averted the need for a third set in taking down Jelena Ostapenko 6-4, 7-6 in a thrilling match.
Krejcikova also has a good omen on her side. Last time she reached a major semi-final, she won it to reach the final of Roland Garros where she took down Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova for the title. So whoever reaches the final out of the Czech ace and Rybakina has Grand Slam and favourite pedigree.
This in comparison perhaps to Jasmine Paolini who was well beaten in her only attempt and Donna Vekic who is breaking new ground as a result of reaching this point. But for Krejcikova, it is also extraordinary given the context of her last 18 months. She has had to deal with a lot of illness and injury which has restricted her from reaching the heights of that 2021 triumph.
Similar to her compatriots in Karolina Muchova and Marketa Vondrousova, she has never been able to recapture that form due to mainly being off the court for so long between tournaments with injury problems. So to see her string wins together like this is also an added bonus for her fans in a match that she perhaps wasn't expected to win.
Especially in the context of Ostapenko's Wimbledon where she only just lost a set for the first time during this match and had been sweeping aside all comers. But as she told her box to go away during the tie, it made no difference as she still lost in straight sets to Krejcikova anyway who didn't get drawn in as expected to the antics of the Latvian.
She broke early in the first set which stood her in good stead in a fairly back and forth affair on serve as she snuck it after being 40-15 down and she continued to lead all set not having any break points down the other end such was her dominance on her serve. The second set was looking like it was going the way of Ostapenko who went 4-1 up on her including staving off three break point chances given to Krejcikova. But the tables flipped.
Suddenly, Krejcikova won four games in a row including back to back breaks in order to head towards the break at 5-4. But serving for the match, it fell apart as Ostapenko broke back and herself went one away from the set. But a comfortable service hold next time around proved vital. She went 2-1 down in the tie-break but Krejcikova took serve twice to go into two mini-breaks and go 5-2 up from there. Initially spurning a match point, she got over the line at 7-4 to seal the win.

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