Bouchard Into Another Major Semifinal
Published July 02, 2014 12:14
Twenty-four hours earlier, Kerber had upset Maria Sharapova in an epic on Centre Court to remove the last remaining former major winner from the top half of the draw. Bouchard, who defeated Kerber during her recent run to the French Open semifinals, produced an equally impressive - if somewhat less dramatic - display in her own fourth round encounter to see off Alizé Cornet.
The Turning Point
From the outset, it was clear that Kerber was happy to reprise her role as the counterpuncher. However, despite some typically dogged retrieving, she could not replicate her heroics against Bouchard, who ran out a 6-3, 6-4 winner in an hour and 12 minutes.
After the first six games of the match passed without incident, a wild forehand from Bouchard at 3-3 offered up the first opportunity to break. She snuffed out this opening - and three more chances - with some bold hitting before breaking in the next game to take charge of proceedings.
A confident service game helped the Canadian to the set and when she broke twice more at the start of the second the end looked in sight. Kerber threatened a comeback by pulling one of the breaks back, but Bouchard was not to be denied.
By The Numbers
Bouchard's progress to the last four guarantees that she will break into the Top 10 for the first time in her career. Victory also sees her become the sixth player since 2000 to reach the semifinals at the first three Grand Slams of the year.
"I'm excited to be in the semis. But, of course, you know, I'm never satisfied, so I definitely want to go a step further, or as far as I can," Bouchard said. "I think I've played some great players when I lost in the other semis - you can't win every single time. But I'm going to look forward to it and try to play a little bit like I played today. I thought I was pretty solid out there and playing the right way on the grass."
Meeting the Canadian for a place in the final with be Simona Halep, who produced a spectacular turnaround to end Sabine Lisicki's latest Wimbledon run, 6-4, 6-0. Their only other encounter came earlier this year in Indian Wells, where Halep prevailed in three see-saw sets, and Bouchard is expecting another close encounter.
"We had a good match at Indian Wells. I felt like I had chances, was really close, and just lost that one," Bouchard said. "I learned, you know, a little bit about her game. I think she's playing really well.
"I'll just try to go for it and take my chances and leave it all out on the court. It's the semis, so I'm going to expect the toughest match ever."