Wimbledon 2022: Women’s Semifinals Preview and Prediction

Jul 6, 2022 - 9:04 PM

This year’s Women’s Draw at Wimbledon was not as star-studded as it has been in the past, without the likes of Ashleigh Barty, Naomi Osaka, a healthy and in-form Serena Williams, or any of the top-ranked players from Russia or Belarus. Thus, the tournament had an “Iga Swiatek vs. the Field” feel to it, as the No. 1 player in the world entered Wimbledon having won 35 straight matches and six consecutive tournaments.

After Swiatek was ousted in the third round, there were sure to be some surprises on the Women’s side, and in large part, there have been. The semifinals are littered with three players making their first-ever semifinal appearances at a Grand Slam, while the fourth competitor is a two-time Grand Slam champion.

Read on for our thoughts and predictions for the two Women’s semifinal matches at Wimbledon 2022.

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Ons Jabeur vs. Tatjana Maria

With her quarterfinal victory over Marie Bouzkova, No. 3 seed Ons Jabeur made history as the first Arab or North African player (either man or woman) to reach the semifinals at a Grand Slam event. Jabeur was on the precipice of the feat last year before losing to No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka in the quarterfinals. The loss was Arab/North African players’ 11th without a victory at that stage. Jabeur’s game is much more seasoned since then, and had it not been for Iga Swiatek’s dominance on the Women’s side for the last several months, we would surely be talking more about the talented Tunisian.

Jabeur’s semifinal appearance is groundbreaking, but it cannot be classified as surprising, given that she had the second-best odds to win Wimbledon pre-tournament. However, what does classify as not just surprising but downright shocking is 34-year-old Tatjana Maria’s first semifinal appearance in her 35th Grand Slam. In addition, she has been back on tour for less than a year after her second maternity leave, yet still bested No. 26 Sorana Cirstea, No. 5 Maria Sakkari, and No. 12 Jelena Ostapenko in consecutive matches leading up to the quarterfinal.

Jabeur has won ten consecutive grass-court matches dating back to her Berlin title, but the weight of the world should be lifted off her shoulders now that she finally made it past the quarterfinals at a Grand Slam in her third try. Before this year, Maria had not played a match on grass since 2019, so Jabeur is the rightful -900 favorite on this surface, given that she has won 20 of her last 22 matches. However, we cannot lay those steep moneyline odds, and Jabeur is even a pricey -390 to win in straight sets. Therefore, we are intrigued by a built-in three-leg parlay that requires Jabeur to win, to break serve first, and for there not to be any tiebreaks in the match.

Bet: Jabeur to win/Break Serve 1st/Under 0.5 Tie Breaks (-200 at DraftKings)  

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Simona Halep vs. Elena Rybakina

Interestingly, Halep’s +110 futures odds to win Wimbledon at this point are shorter than Ons Jabeur’s +125 odds, despite Jabeur seemingly having the much easier draw in the semifinals. This is because oddsmakers are valuing Halep’s experience as the only Grand Slam champion left in the field, as well as this being her third semifinal in ten Wimbledon appearances.

Halep has now won 12 consecutive matches at Wimbledon dating back to 2019, as she did not play in the tournament in 2020 (canceled for COVID-19) and 2021 (calf injury). As a result, she has a considerable edge over Rybakina, who has made just two tour-level semifinal appearances on grass before this Wimbledon run.

Halep improved to 98-10 in majors when winning the first set, and she would put a ton of pressure on Rybakina by getting out to an early lead in this match. Rybakina has a huge serve (15 aces in her quarterfinal win) and can hit anyone off the court, but we would not be surprised to see nerves kick in on this stage. She showed vulnerability in the quarterfinals when serving for the match at 5-1 but was broken and held on for a 6-3 clinching set.

Halep has played aggressively all tournament, and her success on grass cannot be understated. She will be impossible to beat if she once again wins 77% of her second-serve points as she did against Anisimova. Halep looks just as in form as when she defeated Serena Williams at this venue and is clearly the favorite in this match. We like this match to go under 20.5 total games, which means we would not put anyone off laying the -165 odds for Halep to win in straight sets.

Bet: Halep-Rybakina UNDER 20.5 Games (+105 at DraftKings), Halep to win in straight sets (-165 at DraftKings)  

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Mike Spector is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeSpector01.

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