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Rybakina and Krejcikova race to Wimbledon semi showdown

Elena Rybakina has lived up to her billing as favourite to win Wimbledon with a ruthless 6-3 6-2 61-minute dismantling of Elina Svitolina in the quarter-finals on Centre Court.

The 2022 champion will meet Barbora Krejcikova, who has never previously reached the last four at Wimbledon, but is a former Roland Garros champion.

The Czech also won in straight sets, but it took 100 minutes to beat Latvian Jelena Ostapenko 6-4 7-6 (7-4) on No. 1 Court.

Both matches were played under an open roof as the sun finally shone on Wimbledon.

Barbora Krejcikova acknowledges the crowd on No. 1 Court after beating Jelena Ostapenko. (AP PHOTO)

Rybakina produced a fine display of explosive hitting coupled with a rock-solid serve to end Svitolina’s hopes of a maiden grand slam triumph at the 42nd time of asking.

The fourth seed struck 28 winners and seven aces during a one-sided battle with Svitolina, who was out-of-sorts two days on from an emotional victory over Wang Xinyu, which occurred hours after a Russian missile struck a children’s hospital in Kyiv.

Rybakina is Moscow-born but represents Kazakhstan. Svitolina again outlined on Monday she was fine with her opponent due to her switch in allegiances,

“Really pleased with the way I played today,” Rybakina said.

“It is always tough to play against Elina, she is a great player and fighter. So, no matter the score, it was not as easy as it might have looked.

“I also don’t like (being a favourite) but I definitely have an aggressive style of play, a huge help and it is a big advantage.”

Ostapenko had blitzed her way through the women’s draw, dropping only 15 games in four matches with a ferocious flurry of winners.

But when the unforced errors started to creep well above the winner count Krejcikova was able to take advantage.

A blink-and-you-miss-it encounter didn’t feature a rally of more than eight shots, but Krejcikova made her count.

In the tie-break Krejcikova served beautifully before taking the first of three match points to cap a composed display and a well-deserved victory.

The 28-year-old won the 2021 French Open but had not otherwise reached a grand slam semi-final.

“I don’t have the right words now,” she said. “I was so into the game I told myself I’m going to give it everything I have and I’m really happy that I did. It’s an unbelievable moment for me.”

The other women’s semi-final features seventh-seed Jasmine Paolini against unseeded Donna Vekic.

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