Tennis Tips: Our smashing punts for Wimbledon men and women’s semi finals

Paddy trader Diarmuid Moran serves up 3 you have to see for Thursday and Friday's biggest games.

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*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

Ashleigh Barty v Angelique Kerber – Barty to win 2-1

25th seed Angelique Kerber has the unenviable task of taking on world No.1 Ashleigh Barty in Thursday’s eagerly anticipated semi-final. Barty looked comfortable as she disposed of fellow Aussie Ajla Tomljanovic 6-1, 6-3 in her quarter-final match, without ever really getting out of second gear. Kerber herself has impressed too, the German made light work of both Karalina Muchova and fan favourite Coco Gauff in straight sets on route to the semis.

Both players are extremely strong defensively and have well matched abilities to push the other around the court. For me, what decides this one is whether Barty can continue her serve dominance, with 38 aces so far at Wimbledon, if Barty can continue to land a high percentage of first serves that will go a long way.

Kerber will give Barty her sternest test so far and I can definitely see her taking a set – but I believe Barty has another level to her game this year and is ready to replicate her wins in Melbourne, Miami and Stuttgart on the biggest stage in London this week. I think Barty will win 2-1.

Karolina Pliskova v Aryna Sabalenka – Set 1 correct score, Sabalenka 6-4

The former world No.1, Karolina Pliskova, has rediscovered some of her best form and has yet to drop a set in London. By reaching this stage, she’s joining an elite list of only six active women to appear in the semi-finals stage in all four majors, but she will need to be pitch perfect on Thursday against Aryna Sabalenka to earn her shot at a first Wimbledon title.

The 23-year-old Belarusian, Aryna Sabalenka, was made to work in her quarter final showdown with Ons Jabeur but looks to be improving with every game at SW19. Sabalenka is prone to errors, including the five double faults she committed in the quarters, but when she hits her stride few can handle her excellent baseline and hard-hitting game. Provided her game doesn’t unravel, I see her able securing her maiden Slam final place.

I’m expecting a tight affair and I see whoever wins it, having to earn it – I’m tipping Sabalenka to win the first set 6-4.

Novak Djokovic v Denis Shapovalov – Djokovic to Win 3-1

Novak Djokovic was made to work for his Semi-final place, beating surprise package Marton Fucsovics 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 on Wednesday. Since his early first set wobble against Jack Draper, Djokovic has yet to drop a set and though he’s looked dominant, he’s hardly been rampant so far in London.

His opponent on Thursday, Denis Shapovalov enters his first ever Slam semi-final after overcoming an epic 5 set battle against Karen Khachanov, hitting an impressive 17 aces on route. Ominously, Shapovalov has failed to beat his Serbian counterpart in their previous six meetings.

If Djokovic is to secure an incredible sixth Wimbledon title, he will need to show more than he has so far in the tournament- but his workmanlike approach should be enough to see him through against Shapovalov on Thursday. I’m tipping Djokovic to win 3-1 in setting betting.

Wimbledon semi final tips

Ashleigh Barty v Angelique Kerber – Barty to win 2-1
Karolina Pliskova v Aryna Sabalenka – Set 1 score, Sabalenka 6-4
Novak Djokovic v Denis Shapovalov – Djokovic to Win 3-1

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

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