Yes, this year's Wimbledon, at least on the women's side, has provided plenty of drama and upsets. But while the four ladies in the semifinals may not be household names to non-tennis junkies, both matchups are extremely intriguing.
Let's take a look at the schedule for those semifinals, along with a preview of each match.
|Wimbledon Ladies Semifinals|
|Thursday, July 3||8 a.m.||No. 23 Lucie Safarova vs. No. 6 Petra Kvitova||ESPN|
|Thursday, July 3||TBD||No. 13 Eugenie Bouchard vs. No. 3 Simona Halep||ESPN|
Both matches can be streamed at WatchESPN.com or on the WatchESPN app.
Simona Halep needs to shed the "always the bridesmaid, never the bride" reputation she's forged for herself at Grand Slams.
While she does have a title under her belt this year, she also bowed out in the quarterfinals in the Australian Open, the final of the French Open and is an uninspiring 4-3 in semifinal and final matches this season.
Of the players remaining she surely deserves to be considered the favorite given her No. 3 ranking and 26-9 record on the year, but trying to predict the women's game this season is about as easy as being Jackson Pollock's partner during a game of Pictionary.
Halep and Eugenie Bouchard have met just once, with Halep prevailing in the round of 16 at Indian Wells, 6-2, 1-6, 6-4. But the 20-year-old Bouchard is a burgeoning superstar who has reached the semifinals in each Grand Slam thus far this year.
Although not physically imposing, the 5'10" Bouchard cuts off time on plays by taking the ball early, defends well and is adept coming into net.
But her coach, Nick Saviano, says Bouchard's best qualities are her relentless desire to improve and innate poise.
'Genie is always comfortable on a big stage,' said Saviano, who has known Bouchard since she was 12 and working at his Florida academy. 'Always has been. It's something you could say she was born with.'
She also has a powerful serve, one that should trouble Halep. Look for the bright, young Canadian star to reach her first final.
The other matchup pits Petra Kvitova against Lucie Safarova, an all-Czech affair.
Kvitova is trying to regain the form that saw her win this tournament in 2011 and win six tournaments in all that year, going 60-13 in the process, a remarkable season. To put into perspective just how far she's dropped off since, she has a total of four titles in the past three seasons.
There's no doubt that Kvitova is brimming with talent. Just 24, she's a powerful and aggressive player who is nearly impossible to deal with when she's playing consistently. She's also 5-0 all time against Safarova—and quite good on grass—so she'll be favored in this match.
Safarova nearly beat Kvitova earlier in the year when they met, however, and has played some of the bigger talents on the WTA Tour really tough, even if she doesn't quite have an eye-opening upset this year.
She's also lost to Kvitova four times this year, so it's hard to imagine Safarova knocking off the former champion on her preferred surface.
But at this year's Wimbledon, well, you just never know what might happen.
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