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PREVIEW: Wimbledon 2022 – Selected Quarter-finals Women’s Fixtures

Simona Halep demolished Badosa to set up Wimbledon Quarter-final clash with Anisimova. Ajla Tomljanovic is favourite to beat Elena Rybakina despite survive a final set scare last time out.

Simona Halep demolished Badosa to set up Wimbledon Quarter-final clash with Anisimova. Ajla Tomljanovic is favourite to beat Elena Rybakina despite survive a final set scare last time out.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

2022 WTA Tour
Grand Slam Tennis
Wimbledon Tennis Championships
All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, England (Outdoor Grass-court)
Selected Quarterfinals- 6th July

Simona Halep (16) (41/100) vs Amanda Anisimova (20) (37/20)

Simona Halep’s 2022 Wimbledon campaign started with a slight degree of controversy (not of the Kyrgios variety). She was denied the right to play her first-round match on centre-court. That right is usually reserved for the defending champ. But Barty’s retirement meant that Halep was the last active player to win Wimbledon. But the organizers went with current darling Iga Swiatek.

Now the Pole is out and Halep continues in her quest to win a 3rd Slam. Her alliance with Patrick Mouratoglou has finally started to reap rewards. She reached the semi-finals in Birmingham before pulling out at the same stage at the Bad Homburg Open.

I thought she may be a factor this year and she has been truly devastating. It was her 4th round victory against Paula Badosa that truly made a statement. The Spaniard had only been broken three times in the entire tournament. The Romanian broke her five times in their match.

She was perfect, hitting 17 winners and just nine unforced errors (she won the first set in just 22 minutes). Halep has now won eleven consecutive Wimbledon matches and she must be the favourite this year.

I don’t think that many had Amanda Anisimova on their radar prior to Wimbledon. The likes of Coco Gauff and Danielle Collins were the fashionable American picks.

But it’s the 20-year-old Anisimova who has emerged from the pack this year. But it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. The American has actually turned into a really solid Grand Slam operator. She burst onto the scene with that remarkable run to the semi-finals of the 2019 French Open.

This year she won her 2nd title at the Melbourne Summer Set 2 before solid showings at the Aussie and French Open. Anisimova hasn’t had it as easy as Halep this year. She has needed to come from a set down twice (including that 3rd round match against Roland Garros finalist Coco Gauff).

She brought Harmony Tan’s fairy-tale run to an end with consummate ease, using her powerful baseline game to rout the idiosyncratic Frenchwoman. She resembled her idol Maria Sharapova with the power she generated on both wings.

The Verdict: Halep to win in three sets at 3/1- These two have an interesting personal rivalry. Halep leads the head-to-head 2-1. That included a comprehensive victory at the recent Bad Homburg Open. But Anisimova beat Halep at the 2019 French Open (when Halep was the reigning French Open champion).

Anisimova’s pure ball-striking make her a dangerous opponent. Halep has shown in the past that she can capitulate out of nowhere during a Slam. But she was just too dominant against Badosa. I think this will be a tricky match but Halep should emerge victorious in three sets.

Ajla Tomljanovic (13/10) vs Elena Rybakina (17) (59/100)

Elena Rybakina has proven to be quite a frustrating player to confidently back. She led the tour in 2020 with five finals. But she largely disappointed in 2021, with a quarterfinal run at the French Open salvaging her season. And 2022 has been pretty humdrum. Sure, she reached the final in Adelaide. But since then, her form has been pretty dismal. She entered this year’s Wimbledon Championships with virtually no grass-court form.

She lost in the 2nd round of the Libema Open and the first round in Eastbourne. But she has managed to navigate a tricky draw to reach her 2nd Grand Slam quarterfinal. She had Coco Vandeweghe in her first match before an extremely tricky 2nd round match against Bianca Andreescu.

She is yet to drop a set this year and I really couldn’t have envisaged this. Having said that, she did reach the 4th round here last year. She is serving brilliantly and picking up plenty of free points. Her doubles expertise also allows her to pick up some cheap points at the net.

Speaking of surprise packages, Ajla Tomljanovic has really come from nowhere to reach this year’s quarterfinals. She is still yet to win a WTA title.

In fact, Tomljanovic last reached a final at the 2019 Hua Hin Championships. But her gruelling three-set victory against Alize Cornet made her the first Aussie woman since Jelena Dokic to reach successive Wimbledon quarterfinals (that was 22 years ago). Cornet- who had obviously accounted for Iga Swaitek- never made things easy for the Aussie.

She saved two match points in the 3rd set and the pair shared an incredible 26-shot rally that resulted in Tomljanovic’s 3rd match point. She finally sealed the deal to reach a very surprising quarterfinal. Her form has been non-existent this year and this just goes to show that grass-court tennis is perhaps the hardest surface to predict.

The Verdict: Rybakina to win in straight sets at 13/10- Elena Rybakina absolutely destroyed the Aussie in their only meeting at last year’s Madrid Open. And I think this will be more of the same. Tomljanovic’s most notable win this year was against an out-of-sorts Barbora Krejcikova.

Rybakina is yet to drop a set and she has truly grown into the tournament. I think her pure power could prove decisive here. I don’t see how Tomljanovic’s street fighting abilities can bridge the power gap.

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