London: Eugenie Bouchard continued her relentless march to the top of the women’s game by defeating Simona Halep to reach her first grand slam final at Wimbledon yesterday.
Eugenie Bouchard celebrates her semi-final win over Simona Halep at the All England Tennis Club in London yesterday. Pic/AFP.
It was a meeting of the two most improved players on the circuit but, after Halep’s run to the French Open final, this time it is Bouchard who will bid for a first slam title when she takes on Petra Kvitova on Saturday.
Luck was certainly on 20-year-old Bouchard’s side, with Halep turning her ankle early in the match and then seeing a net-cord go against her at a crucial stage of the tie-break.
The second set was all Bouchard and the Canadian, the only player to reach the semi-finals at every slam so far this season, clinched a 7-6 (7/5) 6-2 victory after an hour and 35 minutes.
‘I always want more’
Bouchard is now relishing the biggest match of her life. “I can’t wait to play. It’s my first grand slam final so I’m just going to go for it,” she said.
“I’ll have probably my toughest match yet so I’m looking forward to the challenge. “I never say I’m surprised because I’ve put in a lot of hard work and it’s been years in the making. “I believe in myself and I expect good results and I always want more. “I’ve had a good start to season but I expect myself to do even better than that.”
Petra Kvitova plays a return shot to Lucie Safarova yesterday. Pic/Getty Images.
Meanwhile, former champion Kvitova swept into her second Wimbledon final with a 7-6 (8/6), 6-1 victory over fellow Czech and close friend Lucie Safarova yesterday.
Back in 2011...
Kvitova won her only Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in 2011 and the sixth seed is one more victory away from lifting the Venus Rosewater dish for the second time after seeing off 23rd seed Safarova with 24 winners and eight aces in 80 minutes on Centre Court.
The 24-year-old is back in a Grand Slam final for the first time since that surprise triumph against Maria Sharapova at the All England Club three years ago. “It was a tough match mentally because she is good friend of mine,” Kvitova said.