The women’s section at Wimbledon has been enthralling so far. A bagful of upsets later, eight names remain as the tournament steers into the deep end. Tunisian Ons Jabeur is the highest seed in the quarters. Unfazed by the exits of other favourites, she has paved her way into the second week with some high-octane tennis. Yet to drop a set, she is odds-on to lift the famous Venus Rosewater dish. Top seeds Iga Swiatek and Estonian Anett Kontaveit dropped off without much fuss. Harmony Tan’s fairy-tale run- which includes a stirring three-set win against the returning Serena Williams– was ended in the fourth round by American Amanda Anisimova.
German Tatjana Maria has been the seed-slayer of the Grand Slam so far, toppling 26th seed Sorano Cristea, 5th seeded Greek Maria Sakkari, and 12th seeded Jelena Ostapenko. Czech woman Maria Bouzkova schooled Caroline Garcia: responsible for local favourite Emma Raducanu’s exit. Simona Halep seems back to her best and will draw confidence from ousting Spanish fourth-seed Paula Badosa. German Jule Niemeier, Aussie Ajla Tomljanovic and Kazakh Elena Rybakina complete this unpredictable set of quarter-finalists.
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Tatjana Maria vs Jule Niemeier
The all-German clash pits Maria against big-serving 22-year-old Niemeier. The 34-year-old has gritted her way to the quarters, beating off more fancied players. Her most impressive showing was against fifth-seeded Greek Maria Sakkari 6-3, 7-5. But in Niemeier, she meets a hungry upstart with little appetite for indulging opponents. Brushing aside Kontaveit and Briton Heather Watson, the forceful tyro has made quite the splash on SW19.
Maria Bouzkova vs Ons Jabeur
Bouzkova has been commanding over the four rounds. Dropping a solitary set en route to the quarters, the Czech faces her stiffest test yet. Jabeur has been the best player on the draw by far. Mixing power-hitting with deft touch play, the Tunisian plays with an oomph that is hard to resist. Elise Mertens did have her number for a brief bit, but Jabeur dug deep to rouse herself. The Tunisian starts as the clear favourite, but with nothing to lose, Bouzkova’s a dangerous opponent.
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Ajla Tomljanovic vs Elena Rybakina
For the Zagreb-born Aussie Tomljanovic, it’s back-to-back appearances in this round. Ashleigh Barty gave her a 6-1, 6-3 bruising in 2021. A year on, she faces first-time quarter-finalist Rybakina. The 17th-seeded Kazakh- has made light work of her challengers, winning all her matches in straight sets. But Tomljanovic will look to utilise the lessons learnt from 2021 to one-up the Kazakh.
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Simona Halep vs Amanda Anisimova
Simona Halep’s return to form has brought much cheer to the tennis fraternity. Suffering a panic attack in Roland Garros, she has come to SW19 with a clearer head and a crisper game. Looking imperious in her run to the quarters, the Romanian did not give Badosa a sniff in the previous round. However, American youngster Anisimova is no pushover. Having fought past compatriot Coco Gauff in three sets, she demolished Harmony Tan 6-2, 6-3. Building from the baseline, Anisimova has a bullet backhand in her arsenal. The 20-year-old- who looks to dictate points from the back courts- has the template to trouble the former Wimbledon champion.