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United States’ Alison Riske celebrates defeating Australia’s Ashleigh Barty in a women’s singles match during day seven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Monday, July 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
United States’ Alison Riske celebrates defeating Australia’s Ashleigh Barty in a women’s singles match during day seven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Monday, July 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)|Associated Press
Tennis

Wimbledon Women’s Tuesday Quarterfinals: Abrams picks Williams vs. Riske, Svitolina vs. Muchova, Halep vs. Zhang, Strycova vs. Konta

Matches start at 8 am EDT.

Neal Abrams

Neal Abrams

Wimbledon 2019
Tuesday, July 9, 2019
Women’s Quarterfinals

Now that the Madness of Middle Monday is over, the Women take the stage for Tuesday, July 9 at The Championships. The day is devoted entirely to the Women’s Singles Quarterfinals, with a splash of Men’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles for entertainment’s sake. The Men take over tomorrow.

Riske over Williams
Ally Riske, from the tennis hotbed of Pittsburgh, PA, has shown that she’s the real deal, and an excellent athlete to boot, by getting through the top quarter of the draw and especially by beating the top seed, Ash Barty, in three close sets. Serena Williams has yet to face anyone who could beat a top boy’s high school player, and she’ll pay the price for having an incredibly easy draw. She’s already paid the price by destroying Wimbledon property while practicing, and she was fined $10,000. I guess she hasn’t worked on her anger management problems. Riske should win, as long as she thinks she can. She serves well, particularly down the T of the deuce court, and when she comes to net she rarely loses a point. Her problem, from what I can see, is that she may be reluctant to approach, as Serena’s groundies, however erratic, come strong and fast. If Riske knows she’s the better player, I think this is over in two sets.

Svitolina over Muchova
Muchova reminds me of some of yesteryear’s women, like Betty Stove, and Francoise Durr, whose dress sizes were often much greater than the number of games they won. Like for Serena Williams, the WTA deftly lists her height, but not her weight, and I know it’s not “pc” to refer to women’s weight anymore, but in an athletic setting I believe it’s very important. Muchova deserves much credit for beating Pliskova, but she’ll have to take that one to the memory bank. It’s already yesterday’s news. If that’s any indication of how I feel about this match, I love Elina Svitolina to roll (no pun intended) over Muchova. She’s the better athlete. She’s a better player. And she’s got the better boyfriend.

Halep over Zhang
Zhang deserves all the credit in the world for making her first Grand Slam quarterfinal, but Simona Halep is back. She had little trouble with American Coco Gauff, as they play essentially the same game, but Halep plays it better. Halep has been incredibly quiet this year, and I think it’s time for her to explode. Expect to see her in the semis.

Strycova over Konta
Barbora Strycova has beaten three seeds on the hallowed Wimbledon grass, and looks very, very sharp. Konta’s win over Petra Kvitova was inspiring, and says a lot about the Brit: she’s tough, she’s strategic, and she’s been brilliant. But I think, even with all the fan help she’ll get, Strycova has too much game for Konta to advance. I think Strycova will eke out a real close three setter, and Konta will become Great Britain’s new Virginia Wade. They’ll be calling her “Our Johanna” until she wins this bloody tournament, or retires. Whichever comes first.