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Ons Jabeur of Tunisia in action during the singles match against Alize Cornet of France during day five of the Eastbourne Open tennis tournament at Devonshire Park, Eastbourne, England, Thursday June 27, 2019. (Gareth Fuller/PA via AP)
Ons Jabeur of Tunisia in action during the singles match against Alize Cornet of France during day five of the Eastbourne Open tennis tournament at Devonshire Park, Eastbourne, England, Thursday June 27, 2019. (Gareth Fuller/PA via AP)|Associated Press
Tennis

Tennis Friday: Abrams picks the WTA Eastbourne semis – Kerber vs. Jabeur, Pliskova vs. Bertens

Matches start at 6 am EDT

Neal Abrams

Neal Abrams

Nature Valley International
Eastbourne, Great Britain
Women’s Semifinal Singles

Angie Kerber over Ons Jabeur
Ons Jabeur played some topflight tennis taking out France’s Alize Cornet 6-3 in the third in yesterday’s quarterfinals. But she turned her ankle over, and, although she was able to finish the match after medical attention and having her ankle wrapped, the ankle will probably swell over night, and she’ll be less than perfect for her semifinal clash against the very tough Angie Kerber. Meanwhile, Kerber dismissed Simona Halep as if the Romanian was just a qualifier, 6-4, 6-3, and is playing so well that I can’t see her losing to the hobbling Jabeur.

Karolina Pliskova over Kiki Bertens
Those who follow the WTA have been “wowed” by Kiki Bertens’ rise up the rankings this year. Well, this match should tell if she’s the real deal or just a pretender. Karolina Pliskova is one of the very best women playing today, and if Bertens can get by her, she’ll show the world that she’s ready to be a legitimate contender for the Wimbledon crown in the tournament that starts next week. My guess is that Bertens is only in the second tier of women’s players and that Pliskova will take her out here and expose her for the imposter than she just may be.