Women's quarterfinal previews: Serena v. Riske and more from Wimbledon

Women's quarterfinal previews: Serena v. Riske and more from Wimbledon

Strangely, despite being on tour together for the better part of a decade, the two Americans have never faced each other.

Tuesday at Wimbledon features all four women's quarterfinals. Here, previews and picks of the tournament's elite eight:


Serena Williams vs. Alison Riske

From one No. 1 to another, in a 24-hour span. That’s what Riske will be doing when she follows her fourth-round win over top seed Ash Barty with this quarterfinal against Serena. Strangely, despite being on tour together for the better part of a decade, the two Americans have never faced each other. Serena will be favored, of course; she’s a seven-time Wimbledon champion, and the 29-year-old Riske will be playing her first Grand Slam quarterfinal. Serena has also, for the first time this season, looked fully herself in her last two matches. Riske looked much more than her usual self against Barty; she was the single-minded aggressor, and everything she tried seemed to work. Can she make those same kinds of inroads against Serena? It may depend, as it so often does, on Serena’s serve. And as it so often is, it will likely be enough. Winner: Williams

 


Elina Svitolina vs. Karolina Muchova

Svitolina has had her share of bad results and bad luck at the majors over the years, but things are breaking her way at Wimbledon this time around. First, she was given a reprieve in the second round when her opponent, Margarita Gasparyan, who was on the verge of beating her, suddenly cramped and retired. Now, in her quarterfinal, Svitolina will face an opponent in Muchova who will be bouncing back, without a day’s rest, from a three-hour, 13-11 in the third win over Karolina Pliskova. The 22-year-old Muchova is very much a player to watch, but a win on Tuesday may be out of her reach. Svitolina won their only meeting, in straight sets, in Doha earlier this year. Winner: Svitolina


Simona Halep vs. Shuai Zhang

Zhang, who had never won a match at Wimbledon before this year, has quietly but efficiently reached her second Grand Slam quarterfinal at age 30. She’s dropped one set, and she knocked out both of the Caros, Garcia and Wozniacki, along the way. Can she keep plowing ahead, now that the spotlight will be brighter, the court bigger, and the opponent better? Probably, yes. Zhang is 2-1 against Halep, and she beat her in their only meeting at a major, at the 2016 Australian Open. Winner: Zhang


Johanna Konta vs. Barbora Strycova

This could be a quintessential trap match for Konta. In her last two rounds, the Brit negotiated her way past two high seeds and former Grand Slam champions in Sloane Stephens and Petra Kvitova, both times in semi-nervy three setters. Now she’s one win away from a possible nation-riveting semifinal meeting with Serena Williams that the British media likely won’t stop frazzling over until it happens. And her opponent is the unseeded and relatively unsung Strycova, a 33-year-old who is contemplating retirement. Can Konta stay focused on the business at hand? She’ll need to: Strycova, a natural grass-courter, is approaching this possible last career go-round as if she has nothing to lose. After coming back from the brink of defeat against Elise Mertens on Monday, she may feel as if she has even less to lose on Tuesday. Winner: Konta