Although the draws on Day 10 of the 2014 Wimbledon Championships do not look like we expected, the uncertainty heading into the final few rounds are making things exciting.
In the men's draw, both Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray were knocked out before the semifinals by younger competitors hungry for the spotlight. This will leave veteran favorites Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer trying to stay alive against talented youngsters Grigor Dimitrov and Milos Raonic, respectively.
Before these battles take place, the women will try to come through in a wide-open field, as Eugenie Bouchard, Simona Halep, Lucie Safarova and Petra Kvitova vie for a trip to the final.
Here is a look at what to expect in the upcoming semifinals at Wimbledon's Day 10.
When: Thursday, July 3
Where: All England Club, London
Time: 8 a.m. ET; 1 p.m. BST
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
1st Match: No. 23 Lucie Safarova vs. No. 6 Petra Kvitova
Safarova has had an interesting run at Wimbledon. The competitor, who had not reached a Grand Slam quarterfinal in seven years, struggled early on and needed to win three of her first four sets by tiebreak to advance to the third round.
However, she improved as she went along, losing only 12 games in the past three matches to win all of her singles sets thus far. Tom Perrotta of The Wall Street Journal discussed Safarova's pure skill after one of her wins:
Defeating Kvitova would be an even bigger upset—especially on her favorite surface. WTATennis.com breaks down her impressive career showing at Wimbledon:
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.
Kvitova has also been incredibly consistent with her serve, winning points on both her first and second attempts. In fact, in her quarterfinal win over Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, she won on 68 percent of her second serves, compared to just 57 percent on the first.
She has been great throughout the tournament, and that will not stop in the semifinals.
Prediction: Kvitova wins 7-6, 6-2.
2nd Match: No. 13 Eugenie Bouchard vs. No. 3 Simona Halep
Of course, her No. 3 standing has to surprise those who watched the Romanian compete before this season. While she showed potential, she struggled to put it all together—especially in Grand Slams, where she failed to reach a single quarterfinal.
However, Halep has been red-hot this season: She advanced to the quarterfinals at the Australian Open and finished second at Roland Garros.
This time around, she is ready to bring home a title.
Her chances are even greater, considering how well she closed out against Sabine Lisicki:
However, Bouchard is not going to be an easy win. After reaching the semifinals for the third major tournament in a row, she is ready to take the next step, per WTATennis.com:
I'm excited to be in the semis. But, of course, you know, I'm never satisfied, so I definitely want to go a step further, or as far as I can. I think I've played some great players when I lost in the other semis—you can't win every single time. But I'm going to look forward to it and try to play a little bit like I played today. I thought I was pretty solid out there and playing the right way on the grass.
So far this tournament, Bouchard has done well not to beat herself. She has kept her unforced errors to a minimum and has been accurate with her serve.
On the other hand, she will not be able to match Halep's first serve. The talented player has won at least 78 percent of these points in four of five matches so far, with all of those ending in straight sets.
This will be a close battle, but Halep will find a way to pull out a win.
Prediction: Halep wins 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.
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