Watch out, Wimbledon, Jelena Ostapenko is feeling it.

“I’m probably more confident and more mature on the court this tournament especially,” she said Monday after reaching the quarterfinals for the third time here. “I kind of know what I have to do, and I'm doing it quite well, especially in deciding moments.

“I’m just doing the things that I’ve been doing before, like when I won [the 2017] French Open, when I was back in top 10. Yeah, I feel like I’m doing those things better than before.”

She’s not the only one.

Wimbledon 2024: Scores Draws | Order of play

Wednesday’s two quarterfinal matches from the top-half of the draw feature three one-time Grand Slam singles champions, hungry to score the second major of their careers. Elena Rybakina, the 2022 winner here, 2021 French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova and Ostapenko are joined by Elina Svitolina, looking to become a three-time semifinalist at the All England Club.

Let’s break down these sweet matchups:

[4] Elena Rybakina vs. [21] Elina Svitolina

- Insights from
elena rybakina
More Head to Head
60% Win 3
- Matches Played
40% Win 2
elina svitolina

The Case for Rybakina: The 25-year-old from Kazakhstan is the only player remaining in the draw to have reached a Wimbledon final. She’s a sparkling 18-2 in career matches here, a record equaled by some of the greatest names in tennis history.

That works out to a fabulous 90-percent success rate, something achieved previously only by Ann Jones and Steffi Graf.

“I didn’t know about these stats,” Rybakina told reporters after winning 6-3, 3-0 via a retirement by Anna Kalinskaya. “I know I’ve been winning a lot on grass. It’s nice to be next to these names with these statistics.”

The statistic that matters most on the slick grass at Wimbledon is aces. Rybakina has 24 already -- she had seven in six service games against Kalinskaya -- and has won 84 percent of her first-serve points.

There are several reasons to like Rybakina here, despite a 2-all head-to-head with Svitolina. Rybakina won their most recent match, a little over one month ago in the Round of 16 at Roland Garros, and the only match on grass (2021 Eastbourne) in straight sets.

Rybakina has been solid so far, dropping only one set to Laura Siegemund. Her growing maturity, she said, is what differentiates her from the player that won the tile here two years ago.

“Definitely I changed a lot,” Rybakina said. “I got much more experience. If I’m nervous, it’s just first few games, not like it was in 2022 when I played [the final] against Ons [Jabeur], it was first set when I just couldn’t manage my emotions, I was too nervous.”

Against Svitolina, “It's not going to be easy,” Rybakina said. “But if I play aggressive, I’m going to serve well, I have all the chances to win, of course.”

Of course.

The Case for Svitolina: The product of Ukraine awoke Monday to the tragic news that her country’s largest children’s hospital was hit by a Russian missile, injuring 16, including seven children. Her homeland, where a number of her family still live, is never far from her thoughts.

You could see it in the small black ribbon pinned to her chest when she took the court for her fourth-round match against Wang Xinyu. Svitolina won 6-2, 6-1 -- in 55 minutes.

“Like since the morning today, I felt like in a fog little bit with my thoughts, with my just feelings inside,” she said afterward. “Was very calm. It was straightforward, to the point, what I have to do, one, two, three on the court. Maybe also that’s why I played really, really loose and very focused on what I had to do.

“It was a lot of thoughts about what's happening and how, like, sad and all these images that I have in my head about the children, all those horrible things.”

Svitolina, the No.21 seed, had already survived a tough first-round draw with Magda Linette. After prevailing in three sets, Svitolina has gone six-for-six in beating Jule Niemeier, No.10 seed Ons Jabeur and Wang.

Against Rybakina, she will have to be similarly focused. Svitolina has the capacity to frustrate Rybakina by keeping the ball in play with her defensive skills and vary the pace with slices and looping forehands.

“She’s been hitting and going big for her shots,” Svitolina said. “Yeah, that’s what I will expect and try to make her feel uncomfortable. Hopefully tomorrow will be a little bit of a better day regarding the spirit-wise. Yeah, just try to work on the things that I have to use against her and go from there.”

[13] Jelena Ostapenko vs. [31] Barbora Krejcikova

- Insights from
jelena ostapenko
More Head to Head
62.5% Win 5
- Matches Played
37.5% Win 3
barbora krejcikova

The Case for Ostapenko: She won the title at Roland Garros in 2017, but Ostapenko’s best Grand Slam is unquestionably Wimbledon. Her overall record is 16-8 and she made the quarters here in 2017 and a year later reached the semifinals.

Two of her eight career titles are on grass. In 2014 she had just turned 17 when she won the Wimbledon junior title.

“It’s just when you come here, the atmosphere is completely different from any other Grand Slam,” Ostapenko said. “I feel this place is for every tennis player a dream to win Wimbledon. Yeah, especially also for me.

“Yeah, I feel like they kind of like me here.”

What’s not to like? Ostapenko is always a must-watch phenomenon, offering a dizzying range of heartfelt expressions and dramatic gestures. This fortnight there’s been a powerful substance to go with all that style.

Ostapenko defeated Yulia Putintseva 6-2, 6-3 in the fourth round and has dropped only 15 games in four matches. That’s the lowest total of any quarterfinalist here since Victoria Azarenka (14) in 2012. She had 29 winners against Putintseva and has 88 so far in 63 games played.

She leads the head-to-head with Krejcikova 5-2, winning the first three matches and the past two. Their most recent encounter, instructively, was on grass a year ago in Birmingham, won by Ostapenko in straight sets.

Ostapenko liked how she was playing in practice and it’s carried over into her main-draw matches.

“I feel like I’m playing more my game, and especially in deciding moments I’m just going for the shots,” she said. “I don't care if I miss it. I’m just playing the next one and the next one.”

The Case for Krejcikova: She’s won four straight matches twice this year -- both in the crucible of Grand Slams. Krejcikova is a big-game player and, as in Melbourne, she’s doing it again at Wimbledon

Krejcikova, who has struggled with injuries over the past two years, missed two months earlier this year with a back injury. She said she’s been pain-free since playing Strasbourg in mid-May. Her 7-5, 6-3 takedown of Danielle Collins was impressive. She did not face a break point until the eighth game of the second set, when the match was all but over.

“It’s always nice when you feel good and you don’t really have any big, big issues,” Krejcikova said. “Yeah, I mean, it feels good. It’s a great moment to be out there and to be able to compete and keep improving.”

And while that 5-2 head-to-head for Ostapenko seems daunting, it’s worth noting that their past two matches, both last year, began with a tiebreak in the first set.

Krejcikova knows exactly what to expect.

“I kind of grew up with Jelena,” she said. “We played many times as a juniors. We also played many times as adults. I mean, she is a tough opponent. She’s playing good tennis. I expect it's going to be a very, very difficult match.

“Well, she’s just pretty much hitting every single shot very, very hard. I mean, yeah, so far she was successful. I hope I’m going to block her.”