Aryna Sabalenka reached her first-ever Grand Slam semi-final while Ashleigh Barty and Karolina Pliskova made their first at Wimbledon and former champion Angelique Kerber her fourth in the women’s quarter-final matches on Tuesday.

World No 1 Barty kept alive her dream of winning the women’s Wimbledon title on the 50th anniversary of fellow indigenous Australian Evonne Goolagong Cawley’s first win by easing into the semi-finals.

The 25-year-old outclassed unseeded compatriot Ajla Tomljanovic 6-1, 6-3 to set up what promises to be a far more serious test of her ability on Thursday when she faces 2018 champion Angelique Kerber.

Second seed Sabalenka ended Ons Jabeur’s historic run at Wimbledon, power getting the better of the guile of the Tunisian 6-4, 6-3 in 74 minutes.

The 23-year-old, who had only won one match on her three previous visits to Wimbledon, will play former No 1 Karolina Pliskova who eased into the last four with a straight sets win over Viktorija Golubic.

Former world number one Pliskova, now ranked 13, reached her first Wimbledon semi-final with a 6-2, 6-2 win. Pliskova has yet to drop a set at Wimbledon this year and has been broken just three times in five rounds. Her eight aces on Tuesday, meanwhile, took her tournament tally to 40.

Sabalenka will try and go one better than compatriot Viktoria Azarenka who twice reached the last four in 2011 and 2012.

“I mean I am really happy with this win,” she said.

“It’s always tough against Ons, she’s an amazing player and person. I’m happy it looks like everything is working for me. It’s really tricky, shots on the grass. It’s sometimes hard to do anything with the ball. It fits my game and I’m really enjoying my time on the court.”

Jabeur departs having lost in her second Grand Slam quarter-final. However, the 26-year-old has done wonders in her goal to use her exploits to encourage young Arab women – especially North African – to take up the sport.

Sabalenka said she was anticipating a tough battle on Thursday against Pliskova.

“It doesn’t matter what happens in the past in tennis (playing Pliskova),” she said.

“Piskova’s a great player and she’s serving well. Her game fits really well on the grass and I’m going to do all I can to enjoy this one.”

Pliskova has yet to win a Grand Slam title with her best performance at the majors a runners-up spot at the 2016 US Open. Her last appearance in a major semi-final was at the 2019 Australian Open.

“I’m super-happy to be through to my first semi-final at Wimbledon,” said the 29-year-old Czech who will be playing in her fourth Slam semi-final.

Former champion Kerber reached the semi-finals for the fourth time with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic.

The German world No 28, who won the title in 2018, will face either top seed Ashleigh Barty or Ajla Tomljanovic for a place in Saturday’s final.

“It’s a magical place for me,” said Kerber, who is a three-time major winner, after securing the 80th victory of her career on grass.

“I was excited to play the grass court season after a one year break. I am so happy having my heart on the court and enjoying my time.”

“I really enjoy every moment here. It was a tight match, she played really well and I knew I had to play my best tennis today.”

With AFP Inputs