Wimbledon Day 11 preview and best bets: Jabeur knocking on the door
It’s women’s semifinal day at Wimbledon on Thursday, while the men are resting in advance of their Friday semifinals. Ons Jabeur, Simona Halep, Elena Rybakina and Tatjana Maria are the last four women standing. Jabeur was my +900 three-star best bet before the tournament started and Halep is a former Wimbledon champion (2019), but Rybakina and Maria are surprises. Is a Jabeur-Halep title match inevitable, or are there more upsets in the cards?
Below are my picks for Day 11.
Ons Jabeur vs. Tatjana Maria Under 19 games (-115)
This is a terrible matchup for Maria, as she and Jabeur have relatively similar styles of play and Maria doesn’t perform any aspect of the game better – or even as good – as her opponent. If things start going downhill early for the German, it’s not like she has some “Plan B” to turn to in hopes of giving her opponent some trouble. Maria is not a physically imposing player and although she does wield an adequate serve, she can’t overpower Jabeur.
This match is going to be on the world No. 2’s racket and it’s hard to see her throwing it away. Everything Jabeur touches is turning to gold these days. She is 10-0 on grass this summer, which includes a title in Berlin. Four of her five Wimbledon victories have come in straight sets; the only exception is the quarterfinals against Marie Bouzkova, and Jabeur dominated the last two sets of that contest 6-1, 6-1. The Tunisian’s first three matches had 16, 16 and 17 games. Two of the three previous head-to-head meetings between Jabeur and Maria have stayed under this number and Thursday’s showdown will likely do the same.
Simona Halep -1.5 sets over Elena Rybakina (-120)
I’m liking my Jabeur +900 outright bet. But I’m not loving it for one reason and one reason only: Simona Halep. The 30-year-old Romanian has been absolutely clobbering her opponents. She has not lost a single set at the All-England Club, nor has she even been pushed to a tiebreaker. Only one set has been more competitive than 6-4 and she looked especially ruthless in the fourth round (6-1, 6-2 over No. 4 seed Paula Badosa) and quarters (6-2, 6-4 over No. 20 seed Amanada Anisimova). As such, Halep is a slight title favorite (+110 to Jabeur’s +125).
Rybakina is coming off a three-set battle against Ajla Tomljanovic and doesn’t have any days off in between matches. The 23rd-ranked Kazakh seemed to be dealing with a minor hamstring issue during that match, too. Moreover, this is her first-ever appearance in a Grand Slam semifinal so it’s going to be a new experience on a big stage for her. There is no reason to think Rybakina will be the first to take a set off Halep at this tournament. Get on this bet ASAP, as the price will likely increase.
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