Wimbledon 2019: Latest Odds, Expert Predictions for Women's Semifinals

Top seeds have fallen like domino chips in the women's tournament at Wimbledon this year, with none of the top six seeds reaching the quarterfinals.

Serena Williams, however, has stubbornly refused to join the list of illustrious names on the way out of the All England Club and has no intention to depart southwest London before Saturday evening.

By then, the number 11 seed might do so with an eighth Wimbledon title in her bag and a first Grand Slam title since January 2017.

For the time being, Williams has reached a 12th semifinal in tennis's oldest major and will play Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Thursday.

Williams has won all three of their previous meetings—one of which came at Wimbledon in 2012—and enters the semifinal as the favorite, but her opponent has done enough in this tournament to suggest she shouldn't be underestimated.

Strycova has already eliminated four seeded players on the way to the semifinals, dispatching number 32 seed Lesia Tsurenko in the first round, before beating number 4 seed Kiki Bertens and number 21 Elise Mertens in the third and fourth round.

Her latest illustrious victim came in the quarterfinals, when she defeated Britain's Johanna Konta, the number 19 seed, in straight sets to book a career first Grand Slam semifinal.

Elina Svitolina, the number 8 seed, will also make her first appearance in the final four of a Grand Slam tournament when she takes on Simona Halep, the number 7 seed and the highest-ranked player left in the tournament.

The first Ukrainian woman to reach the semifinals of a Grand Slam tournament since the country declared independence in 1991, Svitolina has been hindered by knee issues throughout the year but appears to come into form at the right time.

The 24-year-old holds a 4-3 career edge over Halep, but the former world number one is the bookmakers' favorite ahead of Thursday.

The Romanian last made it to this stage at Wimbledon five years ago and is looking for her first Grand Slam final since winning the French Open last year.

Here's what tennis experts expect from the semifinals.

Serena Williams, Wimbledon
Serena Williams during her victory over Alison Riske of USA during Day Eight of The Championships - Wimbledon 2019 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 9 in London, England. Visionhaus/Getty

D'Arcy Maine—ESPN

This is Serena's 12th semifinal at Wimbledon and Maine suggests her experience will be telling against Strycova.

"While Williams hasn't played much this season, Strycova hasn't played much in the second week of a major, ever. Inexperience on the sport's biggest stage, against the sport's biggest name, could be her ultimate downfall."

John McEnroe—BBC analyst and seven time Grand Slam winner

Up until last week, Williams had played just 12 times this season but McEnroe believes the 23-time Grand Slam winner is now close to peak condition.

"I have seen Serena six or seven times play herself into form and win Grand Slams. She is the best ever full stop, but she is also the best ever at overcoming a setback like the knee injury she is carrying," he said.

"It is going to have to be someone who serves really big and gets lots of free points or someone really athletic to beat her. Someone has got to match Serena's intensity—they have to match it in their own way so the crowd feels they want it more than Serena wants it."

Jon Wertheim—Sports Illustrated

Strycova has reached a Grand Slam semifinal for the first time in her career, but while she's played brilliantly so far Wertheim believes Williams will not be worried by playing the Czech.

"This is her first major semifinal and a career result for her. [...]On the other hand, if you told Serena Williams she would have to play Barbora Strycova to reach the Wimbledon final, you suspect she'd giddily sign up for that."

Jacob SteinbergThe Guardian

Unlike some of his colleagues, Steinberg believes Williams' game has shown frailties that are there to be exposed.

"Strycova will be confident after thumping Konta," he wrote. "She has already beaten four seeds and is an awkward proposition with her sliced backhands, invention and liberal use of drop shots.

"Indeed Riske showed how variety can unsettle Williams, who often moved like she was saving herself for the mixed doubles with Andy Murray later in the day.

Tom Hamilton—ESPN

Halep makes her return in a Wimbledon semifinal for the first time in five years and Hamilton believes she should have too much for her opponent, who plays in her first ever Grand Slam semifinal.

"Halep is back in the Wimbledon semifinals for the first time since 2014, and she should comfortably see off Svitolina in straight sets," he wrote.

"While the majority of the top seeds have crashed out, Halep has kept her head and should continue her crescendo to the final."

Odds

According to Oddschecker, Williams is an 11/10 favorite to win an eighth Wimbledon crown, followed by Halep at 2/1. Svitolina and Strycova, meanwhile, are 13/2 and 11/1 outsiders respectively.

Wimbledon 2019: Latest Odds, Expert Predictions for Women's Semifinals | Sports