#Wimbledon Wimbledon 2021

Wimbledon women enter quarterfinals with many firsts in play

There is always far too much tennis to keep track of on Manic Monday — and this is the last such Monday we will have at Wimbledon, given the change next year — so we’ll keep this short.

Women’s quarterfinal previews at Wimbledon don’t have a long shelf life, since all eight quarterfinalists play on back-to-back days. The good part of this is that all eight quarterfinalists have the same rest-and-recovery timetable (within a few hours, of course). The bad part is that they don’t get a day off before the quarters.

At any rate, with a few women’s matches still on court at the time this article is being published, we can still say — with clarity — that a lot of “firsts” are in play as we head into Quarterfinal Tuesday at the All-England Club.

In the bottom half of the draw, Ons Jabeur’s win over Iga Swiatek ensured that at least one player will be playing for a first-ever major title in Saturday’s Wimbledon women’s singles final.

Karolina Pliskova, the Madison Keys-Viktorija Golubic winner, Jabeur, or Aryna Sabalenka will vie for a major championship. The Jabeur-Sabalenka quarterfinal winner will reach a first-ever major semifinal. If Pliskova fails to make the final, the Wimbledon finalist from this half will reach a first career major final. Pliskova, of course, has already made a major final at the 2016 U.S. Open. Angelique Kerber defeated her.

Speaking of Kerber — who, at press time, is still playing Coco Gauff — the German is in many ways the only player not trying to achieve a “first” feat at Wimbledon this year. Gauff, her opponent, is trying to make a first major semifinal. The Emma Raducanu-Ajla Tomljanovic winner will be a first-time major quarterfinalist. Karolina Muchova is seeking a first major final. Ash Barty is a major champion and the top seed, but she has never reached a Wimbledon semifinal and will be playing for that milestone on Tuesday against the Raducanu-Tomljanovic winner.

First-time achievements are special and important. Players want to keep crossing thresholds — partly so that the media won’t keep asking about them, mostly so that they can see tangible evidence that the work they are doing and the coaching they are receiving are moving their careers forward.

It will be a special Wimbledon Quarterfinal Tuesday for several players. We can already say this, even without knowing all four quarterfinal matchups just yet.

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