Three-time Grand Slam winner and 2018 Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber will look to pull off the upset when she takes on world No. 1 and top-seeded Ashleigh Barty in the Wimbledon WTA semifinals on Thursday.
Kerber has the look of a player more than capable of getting the win as she makes her third career appearance in the Wimbledon semis, while Barty will look to extend her career-best run at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. Kerber is a slight underdog to reach the finals. The Wimbledon WTA Odds for this intriguing pairing are live in the BetUS online sportsbook right now.
Match Odds: Ashleigh Barty -220 || Angelique Kerber +180
Game Odds: Ashleigh Barty -3½ -110 || Angelique Kerber +3½ -110
Kerber Capable of Upset
Now 28th in the WTA world rankings, Kerber entered Wimbledon with a modest 14-10 record, but has claimed one title this year. More importantly, Kerber has clearly regained the form that helped her win it all here in 2018 while making runs to the finals in 2016 and the semis in 2012.
The 33-year-old German is on a 10-match winning streak after winning her opener, fourth-round and quarterfinal matches in straight sets and her second- and third-round matches in three sets. The lefty got past rising American Coco Gauff 6-4, 6-4 in the round of 16 on Monday and dispatched No. 19 seed Karolina Muchova 6-2, 6-3 on Tuesday. The former world No. 1 (2016) has looked increasingly formidable with each passing match.
“I just try to continue my play on grass,” Kerber said in her post-match press conference. “Having, of course, the confidence from the last week, coming here with a title in my bag, gives me also confidence that grass is really my surface.”
Barty has Pressure Aplenty
Top-seeded and prohibitive favorite Barty went the distance in her opener against veteran Carla Suarez Navarro, but followed by winning three successive matches in straight sets, including her 6-1, 6-3 demolition of fellow Australian Ajla Tomljanovic on Tuesday to reach her first Wimbledon semifinal.
“It’s the ultimate test,” Barty said of Thursday’s matchup. “Angie’s obviously had success here before.”
Prior to this year, the 25-year-old Barty had never gotten past the fourth round at Wimbledon in nine previous appearances. Still, the 5-foot-5 world No. 1 came into Wimbledon with a stupendous 28-6 mark and three titles in Melbourne, Miami and Stuttgart — all after returning from a 11-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is my dream,” Barty said in her post-match press conference. “I’m in an extremely fortunate position that I’m getting to do what I love, getting to do what I dreamt as a kid. So I think I’ve just got a whole lot of gratitude for the fact that I get to come out here and do what I love.”
Kerber vs. Barty Head-to-Head
Kerber owns a 3-2 career edge over Barty while alternating wins and losses over the five career head-to-head meetings. Kerber won their last meeting 6-4, 6-4 at the Hopman Cup in 2019. Only their first meeting, which Kerber won in Brisbane back in 2017, went the distance.
Kerber has won three of five, but the pair have never met on grass. Kerber’s past success and her blossoming confidence this fortnight give her a big edge in my estimation, which is why I’m picking the former Wimbledon champ to pull off the upset.
I know Barty is the younger player with fresher kegs, but the German-born Kerber has exceptional defensive skills and she uses angles as well as any player in the game, especially her short cross-court strokes that she uses to her advantage to open up the court.
Despite her diminutive size, Barty has an outstanding serve, but I’m expecting Kerber to neutralize that with her aforementioned defensive capabilities. I’m going with Kerber for the big, three-set upset as a value-packed underdog to reach the Wimbledon Finals.
Better still, play Kerber as a prop to win the match 2-1 at +550 odds as well but also take the underdog value.