Is it the beginning of a new era? The Wimbledon Ladies Singles Semifinals are at Centre Court, and the names are almost unrecognizable: Lucie Safarova, Petra Kvitova, Eugenie Bouchard, and Simona Halep. Even though Kvitova and Halep are in the top 10, when one thinks of women’s tennis the first names to pop up are Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova. Kvitova won the 2011 Wimbledon championships, but she is still overshadowed by Williams and Sharapova.
(Photos: Bouchard, Halep, Kvitova, Safarova)
Halep, 22, is ranked third in the world and seeded third at Wimbledon. She was the runner-up at the French Open, where she lost to Sharapova. Bouchard made it to the semifinals in all three Grand Slams in 2014 and she is 20-years old. Kvitova is 24-years old and Safarova is the oldest at 27. While the majority of tennis players blossom at a young age it is possible Safarova is a late bloomer.
The press tend to talk more about Bouchard, but Halep deserves a lot more attention than she receives. She plays well and with intense confidence that she can beat the likes of Sharapova and Williams. She dropped only one game so far at Wimbledon and made Sharapova fight to win the French Open in three sets. It was described as one of the best women’s final matches in years. She plays the baseline well and is incredibly fast on the court. Usually a tennis player wants to make their opponent run all over the court, but it might be wise to not do this with Halep due to her speed. The most confusing thing about her? She does not necessarily have a set style of play, and this allows her to adapt well to every game and player. One could say she is a chameleon. She also does not grunt or celebrates as much as other ladies.
Bouchard does deserve the attention she receives. After all, she is exciting to watch, bubbly, and very friendly. Her game exploded in 2014, and Wimbledon is her third straight semifinal in a Grand Slam. No one would be an idiot if they predict she will reach the semifinals at the US Open at the end of August. She also has a similar playing style to Halep’s. She adapts well to every single game and can change in a snap. Players cannot read her well because they do not know what her next move will be. She rushes the net and can change the ball direction with a flick of her wrist.
This is not to say Sharapova and Williams will not win another title, but the likes of Halep and Bouchard will always make it that much harder for them to dominate the sport.
Safarova plays against Kvitova at 8AM EST on Centre Court. Bouchard and Halep will play after their match.