Ukrainian wildcard Elina Svitolina takes on unseeded Czech Marketa Vondrousova in the semifinals of The Championships Wimbledon 2023 at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London on Thursday.
The match is scheduled to be first of the three matches on Centre Court on the 11th day of this year’s edition.
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Former World No. 3 Svitolina has reached her first Wimbledon semifinal since 2019 after a giant-killing run. The Ukrainian, who came back to Tour-level tennis in Charleston after a year-long absence due to maternity leave, has knocked out four Major winners - Venus Williams (first round), Sofia Kenin (third round), Victoria Azarenka (round of 16) and Iga Swiatek (quarterfinals) at The Championships this year.
The 28-year-old Svitolina particularly impressed during her last two matches. She showed great determination in outlasting Azarenka in the round of 16 before upsetting World No. 1 Iga Swiatek by continuously exposing the Pole’s forehand in the last-eight fixture.
Under her new coach Raemon Sluiter, the Ukrainian player had already reached the French Open quarterfinals last month with her more aggressive game in her first Grand Slam post giving birth to daughter Skai. However, her performance at Wimbledon is set to be one of the biggest stories of the season.
Unlike Svitolina, Vondrousova has won a Grand Slam semifinal before - at the 2019 French Open. She lost to now retired Ash Barty in the final and had never made a deep run at the Major since then.
World No. 14 Vondrousova didn’t drop a set in her first three rounds, which included victories over 12th seed Veronika Kudermetova and 20th seed Donna Vekic.
The 24-year-old Vondrousova trailed for the first time in her round-of-16 match against compatriot Marie Bouzkova but managed to force a comeback. But her toughest match turned out to be the quarterfinal against fourth-seeded American Jessica Pegula. Left-handed Vondrousova took the opening set 6-4 but dropped the second 6-2 and was 1-4 behind in the decider when she started hammering winners after winners to reel off five straight games and ended Pegula’s challenge.
Triumph for Svitolina would make her the first Ukrainian woman to reach a Grand Slam final in the Open era and only the second wildcard in history after Goran Ivanisevic (2001) to progress to the summit clash at the grass Major.
With a win, Vondrousova would join Jana Novotna, Petra Kvitova and Karolina Pliskova on the list of Czech women finalists at Wimbledon.
Played: 5 | Svitolina: 3 | Vondrousova: 2
The head-to-head record between Svitolina and Vondrousova stands at 3-2 in the Ukrainian’s favour. However, this will be the first time they will face each other at a Grand Slam.
|2020||ITALIAN OPEN||QUARTERFINAL||VONDROUSOVA||6-3, 6-0|
|2019||INDIAN WELLS MASTERS||QUARTERFINAL||SVITOLINA||4-6, 6-4, 6-4|
|2018||STUTTGART OPEN||SECOND ROUND||SVITOLINA||2-6, 6-1, 3-2, retd.|
|2018||QATAR OPEN||SECOND ROUND||SVITOLINA||6-2, 6-4|
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