Jelena Ostapenko vs. Angelique Kerber
|Date & Time||Thursday July 12, 2018, 11:00 AM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Angelique Kerber and Jelena Ostapenko meet in the semifinals of the 2018 tennis Wimbledon.
Angelique Kerber is coming off a straight sets win over Darya Kasatkina that took 21 games to decide. In the victory, Kerber won 63 percent of her first serve points and 33 percent of her second serve points. Kerber won 53 percent of her return points and converted on six of her 10 break chances. Kerber could certainly improve her service game in her next match, but the defensive skills and lack of unforced errors has made the German tough to beat in this tournament. Kerber is coming off a match in which she had just 19 unforced errors, and she’s had 19 or less in each of her last three matches. You have to like Kerber’s chances as long as she continues to play clean tennis. Kerber hopes to make her fourth career grand slam final appearance of her career and the second final appearance at the Wimbledon. Kerber is 3-3 in career grand slam semifinal matches. Kerber has won eight of her last nine matches on grass court.
Jelena Ostapenko is coming off a straight sets win over Dominika Cibulkova that took 22 games to decide. In the victory, Ostapenko won 66 percent of her first serve points and 58 percent of her second serve points. Ostapenko won 63 percent of her total service points and broke on five of her 11 chances. Ostapenko has now won 14 of her last 16 sets since the first round loss in the French Open and is clearly a different player with improved confidence. When Ostapenko is playing with this energy, she’s proven just how tough she can be on the big stage. The only area of concern are the unforced errors, as Ostapenko is coming off a match in which she had 28, the second time this tournament in which she’s topped 20 errors. Ostapenko hopes to make her second career grand slam final appearance and first since the 2017 French Open. Ostapenko is 1-0 in grand slam semifinal appearances. Ostapenko has won seven of her last eight matches on grass court.
There’s no previous meetings between these two players.
It’s amazing these two players have never played before, so we should be in for a treat. Both of these players hit the ball with great pace and can certainly get a groove in dictating points. And while Ostapenko is playing some of her best tennis in a while, the difference here are the unforced errors. While Kerber is clean, keeps the ball in play and pushes her opponent around, Ostapenko is a bit wild and can fill the stat sheet with way too many unforced errors. We saw it in Ostapenko’s last match and that’s likely going to be the difference with Kerber playing so sound.
I like the German to reach her second career Wimbledon final.