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Wimbledon women’s semi-finals preview: Elena Rybakina the gold standard

Rybakina arrived at Wimbledon with limited grass-court preparation, having retired from her second-round match at the Berlin Open with abdominal pain and then withdrawing from Eastbourne.

But she has been in formidable form, dropping just one set – against Laura Siegemund in the second round – and extending her impressive SW19 record to 19 wins from 21 matches.

Her win percentage of 90.5 is bettered only by Ann Jones and Steffi Graf in the Wimbledon women’s singles in the Open era.

“I think that’s an amazing statistic,” Rybakina told BBC Sport.

“When I first played on grass I didn’t feel comfortable, but my coach told me ‘you were born for this, you just need to keep going’.'”

He proved correct, with Rybakina clinching the title on just her second main-draw appearance.

She has moved through the gears this year in a draw that saw rival Aryna Sabalenka withdraw before her first match and top two seeds Iga Swiatek and Coco Gauff lose in the third and fourth rounds respectively.

So who – if anyone – can stop Rybakina this year?

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