Halep beats Svitolina to reach Wimbledon final

Halep beats Svitolina to reach Wimbledon final

Strycova plans to approach Thursday's semifinal match against Serena Williams without any sense of fear or trepidation. She defeated Ukraine's Elina Svitolina in the semifinals.

"I fought hard in the first set, even if I was down 4-1", said 27-year-old Halep. I'm in a good position, honestly. Williams, who is looking better with every outing this fortnight, especially since her return to competition following a pregnancy break 15 months ago.

"I don't know if I've had my best serves this tournament". If anyone can take a player's best and surpass it, it's her. In their seven meetings so far, they have never played on the grass and given that none of them are clinical as such on the surface, this can very well go either way. And Williams played calmly.

The muscles in her left forearm are so badly strained that she is not able to practise; she is merely taken out of metaphorical bubble-wrap for matches like the tennis version of Ledley King. She fired 26 winners and won eight points at the net against Svitolina.

Taking things one match at a time, she won against the likes of Daria Gavrilova and Margarita Gasparyan, before running into some problems against Maria Sakkari.

The runaway was on: Williams seized seven points in a row and 16 of 20 to close out that set.

But Strycova's Wimbledon isn't over just yet, with the women's doubles semifinals still to look forward to Friday.

After drawing level at 5-5, Svitolina sucked the life out of Muchova in the 11th game which dragged on for 12 minutes and stretched to six deuces before the eighth seed finally delivered the killer blow on her fifth break point.

Like Strycova, Svitolina has never before been to the final four at a major tournament.

Serena Williams' next opponent is a bit of an old-school player at Wimbledon. Overall, she has reached the last four at 37 major tournaments, putting her in a tie with Steffi Graf for third most in the professional era.

As well as all the records she's hunting, Williams has the chance to follow Australian legends Court and Evonne Goolagong Cawley as only the third mother in half-a-century of professional tennis to win Wimbledon. She made 60 percent of her first serves against Strycova; she'll want a higher percentage in the final.

Williams doesn't really have anything to lose, either, but she has plenty to gain.

That style of play serves the Romanian so well at Roland Garros, where she was the runner-up twice in addition to last year's title.

Strycova, the oldest first-time Grand Slam semi-finalist at 33, boasts a tricky game that scrambled the mind of Britain's Johanna Konta in the quarter-finals.

"Mixed doubles is such a special sport, and so much fun for us to play", she said to the New York Times. The end was nigh when Konta blazed a forehand drive volley over the baseline in another moment reminiscent of the French Open to drop serve again in the sixth game, and a final error sealed her fate.

By then, she was in control.

Now comes a tougher task: beating Williams.

"I have more experience, I don't give up anymore", she said. "Every match I win is a bonus". "I really feel like it helped me, not just for today and this event, but hopefully it will help me in the future".

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