Germany’s Angelique Kerber celebrates winning the first set against Coco Gauff of the U.S. during the women’s singles fourth round match on day seven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Monday, July 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
- No. 25 seed Angelique Kerber is the only Wimbledon champion among the final eight
- Karolina Muchova has made the quarterfinals in both of her Wimbledon main draw appearances
- After beating power, Muchova now faces premium defense. We break down the match and predict a winner
Karolina Muchova and Angelique Kerber were No. 3 and No. 4 in the odds to get out of this quarter of the women’s singles draw.
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With Serena the favorite, we called Kerber as the longer shot (+1200) to come out of the quarter. That’s looking like a prescient bet right now.
Karolina Muchova vs Angelique Kerber Odds
| Karolina Muchova (CZE)||+1.5 (+102)||+125||O 21.5 (-124)|
| Angelique Kerber (GER)||-1.5 (-130)||-157||U 21.5 (-103)|
Odds as of July 5 at DraftKings
Multi-Skilled Muchova Joins Jabeur, Barty on the Skills Chart
It was just three years ago that Muchova, ranked No. 233, made the Wimbledon qualifying for the first time.
She had the bad luck of running into down-on-her-luck 2014 finalist Genie Bouchard, and lost in the second round of qualifying in three sets.
But who was this young lady who – gasp! – was … serving and volleying, old-school? She was hitting a slice backhand as an offensive shot. And she added some heavy topspin on her groundstrokes for variety.
Fast forward a year, and Muchova, now No. 68, upset world No. 3 Karolina Pliskova 13-11 in the third set in the round of 16, losing to Elina Svitolina in the quarterfinals of her first – and until this week, only – Wimbledon in 2019.
2021 Wimbledon Odds Tracker
Now she’s poised to make the final four. But a former champion, suddenly rejuvenated, stands in her way.
Karolina Muchova vs Angelique Kerber Match History
|2019||Monterrey (R16)||Outdoor Hard||6-3, 6-4||Kerber|
|2019||Miami (R64)||Outdoor Hard||3-6, 6-3, 6-3||Kerber|
Kerber Comes Back to Life
It was only a few days ago that Angelique Kerber, a jaded 33-year-old having a tough 2021 season, was down 1-5 to unseeded Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the third round.
And then the rains came.
And when they stopped, the 2018 champion came back a different person.
She lost just one game in the second and third sets. And then she out-steadied highly-touted phenom Coco Gauff 6-4, 6-4 Monday to reach the quarterfinals.
Karolina Muchova vs Angelique Kerber Head-to-Head
|24 (Aug. 20, 1996)||Age||33 (Jan. 17, 1988)|
|Manacor, Mallorca||Birthplace||Bremen, Germany|
|1||Career WTA Singles Titles||13|
|3||Career Grand Slam Titles||4|
|No. 19 (May 16, 2021)||Career High Ranking||No. 1 (Sept. 11, 2016)|
|No. 22||Current Ranking||No. 28|
|$2,738,627||Career Prize Money||$30.150.203|
|17-5||2021 Won/Loss record||18-10|
|0||Career Head to Head||2|
But it began before that, Kerber said. The seeds of her renaissance were sown on the grass, at the new tournament in Bad Homburg, Germany which her management company co-owns, and for which she was the ambassador.
“Playing two tournaments in Germany starting the grass court season like this, then winning my tournament in Germany, playing in front of the crowd again, yeah, this gave me a new energy to go out there and enjoy my tennis,” Kerber said after beating Gauff.
Muchova Mowing Down the Power Hitters
Kerber will present a completely different challenge for Muchova, who has mown down a series of hard-hitting players on her way to the final eight.
First was Camila Giorgi, in three sets in the second round. Then French Open finalist Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (in straight sets). And then Paula Badosa of Spain, the No. 30 seed – also in straight sets.
But Kerber is the absolutely polar opposite to those players.
Her game is retrieve, retrieve, retrieve. Make the opponent hit an extra shot. And then another.
And, if she sees the opportunity clearly, she will step in and try to finish on the forehand.
Her serve is weak – but her location can be pinpoint. And she’s a lefty, which is an advantage. And in a power-hitting era, some of the players actually have more trouble handling a weak, slow second serve than a more powerful first delivery.
The Czech has played very few lefties in her career – only six are on record at Tennis Abstract (2-4). Two of those defeats are to Kerber.
The vast gulf of experience between the two should give Kerber the edge. But it might take awhile; we think Muchova can sneak out the first set.
Best Bet: Kerber in three sets (+320)
Stephanie gets the straight dope from the tennis insiders. On court, she has represented her country internationally. A BA in journalism led to years on the MLB beat and a decade covering tennis globally. She’s written for Postmedia, the Guardian, the New York Times and also publishes OpenCourt.ca.