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Kazakhstan's Elena Rybakina broke the Ukrainian 21st seed four times in a match lasting just 61 minutes on Centre Court. Image Credit: AFP

London: Former champion Elena Rybakina crushed Elina Svitolina 6-3, 6-2 on Wednesday to set up a Wimbledon semi-final against Barbora Krejcikova, who defeated Jelena Ostapenko in straight sets.

The 2022 winner from Kazakhstan broke the Ukrainian 21st seed four times in a match lasting just 61 minutes on Centre Court.

Rybakina was broken in the first game in front of the watching Queen Camilla but hit back straight away and barely put a foot wrong after that.

“It’s always tough to play against Elina, she’s a great player, great fighter. No matter the score, it is not as easy as it might look like,” she said.

“Of course I have such amazing memories from 2022 and I’m just enjoying every time I step on the court, especially when I play good. It’s just really amazing.”

Rybakina, the highest-ranking player left in the women’s draw, said she did not like to be labelled as the favourite, adding: “I have an aggressive style of game, I have a huge serve so it’s a big advantage.”

The 25-year-old Russian-born player crunched 28 winners to Svitolina’s eight, including seven aces.

Czech player Krejcikova beat Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko in straight sets in a battle between former French Open champions in the other semi-final.

Krejcikova in semis for first time

Krejcikova reached the Wimbledon semi-finals for the first time with her win over fellow former French Open champion Ostapenko as the Czech turned the corner on a testing season.

Krejcikova, the 31st seed, won 6-4, 7-6 (7/4). “I told myself that I’m going to leave here everything I have and I’m really happy that I did and it’s a great moment for me,” said Krejcikova, who saw Ostapenko undone by 35 unforced errors.

“It’s an unbelievable moment that I’m experiencing right now in my tennis career.”

Victory for the 28-year-old Krejcikova comes after a miserable run in 2024.

She was off tour for two months with a back injury and then illness.

Her run to the Birmingham quarter-final last month allowed her to celebrate match wins for the first time since Abu Dhabi in February.

“It was a very, very difficult period. It was actually super difficult even before this tournament. I really want to thank my team that is there today,” said Krejcikova.

“There have been many doubts from inside but also from the outside world but I’m super happy that I never give up and that I’m standing here right now and that I qualified to be in the semi-finals.”

On Wednesday, Krejcikova claimed the only break of the opening set to lead 2-1 and swept ahead on the back of winning 95 per cent of first-serve points.

Ostapenko had defeated Krejcikova in the Birmingham grass-court final last season but was unable to carve out a single break point against the Czech in the first set.

The 2018 Wimbledon semi-finalist finally broke through in the fourth game of the second set for a 3-1 lead and backed it up with a hold.

However, the 13th-seeded Latvian went dramatically off the boil as Krejcikova reeled off the next four games for a 5-4 lead.

Ostapenko clung on to break the Czech in the 10th game but 2021 French Open champion Krejcikova played the more composed tie-break to seal the victory.