It was ladies day at Wimbledon on Tuesday as the four semifinal spots were finalized, with former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko leading the way.
The 12th seeded Latvian defeated Dominika Cibulkova 7-5, 6-4 as she continued her streak of straight set wins at the All-England Club.
Ostapenko has been very honest this fortnight about dealing with the pressure she faced after winning at Roland Garros last year. But she says she has broken out of that and is playing freely:
“I think it’s maybe one of a couple of times that I don’t feel any pressure,” said Ostapenko. “I’m just going out there and enjoying it, probably because at the French Open a couple weeks ago I had so much pressure. It’s not all gone. I’m just enjoying the moment.
You play on a big court, in a great place, on grass, which is one of my favorite surfaces. It’s just so much fun.”
In the semifinals, Ostapenko will take on former finalist Angelique Kerber, who took out Daria Kasatkina, the 14th seed, 6-3, 7-5 in her quarterfinal on Tuesday.
“I think the whole match was really good,” said Kerber. “I think we both played on a really high level, starting from the first point. I think the last game shows how good we played both and how she was fighting until the end.
I think these are the matches why we are here and why we are trying to play our best. I’m happy that I won it at the end in two sets.”
Seven-time champion Serena Williams continued her spirited run as she knocked off Italian Camila Giorgi 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 to claim her spot in the final four.
“I think everything right now is a little bit of a surprise,” said Serena afterwards. “To be here, to be in the semifinals. I mean, I always say I plan on it, I would like to be there, have these goals. But when it actually happens, it still is like, ‘Wow, this is really happening.’”
Serena, the 25th seed, will try to reach her 10th Wimbledon final when she plays 13th seeded German Julia Goerges, who also came back to win her quarterfinal on Tuesday, defeating Kiki Bertens 3-6, 7-5, 6-1.
“I played Julia in the French. That was four or five weeks ago. That doesn’t matter. This is a whole new match, it’s a new surface, it’s everything. We’re starting from zero,” Serena added. “I’m going to go out there and just do what I can, do my best, see what happens.”