10 Things To Know: The Semifinals
Published July 02, 2014 12:15
LONDON, England - We're down to the final four - the perfect time to drop some knowledge about the semifinalists, show highlights of their last matches and more... all right here on wtatennis.com!
1) This is the first all-lefty Grand Slam semifinal in 22 years.
The last time two left-handers played in a Grand Slam semifinal was right here in 1992, when Monica Seles beat Martina Navratilova in three sets. Seles went on to lose in the final to Steffi Graf.
2) Kvitova loves this tournament.
No matter how her season's going coming in, Kvitova's game always comes alive at Wimbledon. She won her only Grand Slam title so far here in 2011, she has been to the quarterfinals or better every year since 2010, and she's won a whopping 24 of her last 27 matches here. Not too shabby...
3) Safarova is playing her first Grand Slam semifinal.
Before this, Safarova had only been to one Grand Slam quarterfinal, at the Australian Open in 2007 (falling to Nicole Vaidisova). Meanwhile, Kvitova is playing her fifth Grand Slam semifinal and is 1-3 in her first four (the win in that 1-3 record coming during her run to the title here in 2011).
4) Kvitova was nearly out of the tournament in Week 1.
None of the four semifinalists have had to fight off a match point to get here, but one of them - Kvitova - was actually two points from losing, while she was serving at 5-7, 4-5, 30-all against No.30 seed Venus Williams in the third round. Kvitova managed to scrape through that match, 5-7, 7-6(2), 7-5.
5) Kvitova and Safarova had a battle royale in Eastbourne.
Though Kvitova has won all five of her previous meetings with Safarova, Safarova came about as close as can be to winning their last meeting at Eastbourne two weeks ago. See the highlights here.
6) These WTA Rising Stars are the two best Grand Slam players this year.
Li Na and Maria Sharapova may have come away with the titles, but Halep and Bouchard have more Grand Slam match wins than anyone on the tour this year, with 15 apiece. Who will be first to 16?
7) Halep will be No.2 in the world if she wins this match.
Since Serena Williams regained No.1 last February, there have been a few players rotating around at No.2 - Victoria Azarenka, Maria Sharapova, Li Na - and if she beats Bouchard, Halep will be the latest one. She will also move up to No.1 on the Road To Singapore leaderboard if she beats Bouchard.
8) Bouchard will become the highest-ranked Canadian ever if she wins this match.
By winning her quarterfinal match Bouchard is projected to rise to No.8 next week, not just making her Top 10 debut but also tying Carling Bassett-Seguso for highest-ranked Canadian ever. If she reaches the final - which would make her Canada's first Grand Slam finalist, by the way - she's projected to go to No.7, which would make her THE highest-ranked Canadian ever. There's a lot to gain here...
9) Bouchard is the first player to reach the semifinals of the first three Grand Slams since 2009.
The last player to reach the semifinals of the first three Grand Slams of the year was Dinara Safina in 2009 (finals of the Australian Open, finals of the French Open and semifinals of Wimbledon).
10) Halep and Bouchard's only previous meeting was also... a battle royale.
The only time these two WTA Rising Stars played was in the fourth round of Indian Wells earlier this year, with Halep winning, 6-2, 1-6, 6-4. Not only did Bouchard blow through the second set, she was also up a break in the third, serving at 4-3 - but Halep managed to squeak out the victory.