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Day 10: Kvitova leads crop in women’s semi-finals

Petra Kvitova celebrates on Centre Court
by Nicholas McCarvel
Thursday 3 July 2014

Three years after she triumphed here initially, can Petra Kvitova win at Wimbledon again?

The No.6 seed is the most well-known name remaining in the women’s draw, where French Open finalist Simona Halep is the highest seed at No.3. Their matches are showcased on Centre Court on Thursday. Here, a breakdown of what’s to come.

[6] Petra Kvitova (CZE) v [23] Lucie Safarova (CZE)
Centre Court, 1pm

It’s the first time two Czech women have ever met in a Grand Slam semi-final, but not the first time these two friends have clashed. Kvitova could take solace in her 5-0 head-to-head record against her older opponent, but the No.23 seed stretched the 2011 Wimbledon champion to a third-set tiebreak when they played just over two weeks ago at Eastbourne.

“It was big fight until the end,” Kvitova said of that Eastbourne match. “I'm expecting a tough battle again. She’s playing amazing. She's in the semi-finals. It’s going to be great match I think.”

Safarova hasn’t dropped a set in her five matches through to the semi-finals, including an easy win over Ekaterina Makarova in the quarter-finals, the Russian who had taken out Agnieszka Radwanska in the fourth round. The two lefties are both known for their powerful groundstrokes, but Kvitova has another stat in her corner: She’s won 14 straight matches against left-handed players.

[3] Simona Halep (ROU) v [13] Genie Bouchard (CAN)
Centre Court, Second after 1pm
It’s confidence vs. confidence in the second women’s semi-final, as Halep (Australian Open quarter-finalist and French Open finalist) takes on Bouchard (semi-finalist in both Melbourne and Paris) for a spot in the final. The Romanian has won their only career meeting, earlier this year in Indian Wells in three sets.

Bouchard is the player that has taken the most initiative against opponents this tournament, the Canadian also 10 for 10 in sets played. Her aggression helped her overcome Angelique Kerber, the top 10 resident who had beaten Maria Sharapova in the previous round.

“I'm excited to be in the semis,” Bouchard said after her win. “But, of course, you know, I’m never satisfied, so I definitely want to go a step further, as far as I can. I'm going to look forward to try to play a little bit like I played today. I thought I was pretty solid out there.”   

[2] Sara Errani/Roberta Vinci (ITA) v [6] Casey Dellacqua/Ashleigh Barty (AUS)
No.3 Court, 11.30am – Quarter-finals
These two seeded teams in doubles are familiar with one another, the Italians winning their two previous matches, both of which have come in majors. Errani/Vinci won the Australian Open crown in 2013 over Dellacqua/Barty in three sets, then won again (this time on clay) at Roland Garros last month.

[10] Jamie Murray (GBR)/Casey Dellacqua (AUS) v [6] Horia Tecau (ROU)/Sania Mirza (IND)
Centre Court, Third after 1pm – Third round

British fans still have a Murray in the tournament: Jamie Murray in mixed doubles. Andy’s older brother pairs with the aforementioned Australian Dellacqua, who has had a career resurgence in both singles and doubles the last couple of years. They face doubles specialists Tecau/Mirza, no easy ask.

[3] Daniel Nestor (CAN)/Nenad Zimonjic (SRB) v [5] Leander Paes (IND)/Radek Stepanek (CZE)
No.1 Court, 1pm – Quarter-finals

It’s a collection of doubles veterans in this match as Nestor, Zimonjic, Paes and Stepanek have combined for 21 men’s doubles Grand Slams over 83 years on the pro tour. The two teams have never met two-on-two, however, meaning fans on No.1 Court could be in for some dynamic fireworks.

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