Twenty-year-old Eugenie Bouchard upset No. 3 Simona Halep in straight sets 7-6, 6-2 at Wimbledon on Thursday to reach her first-ever Grand Slam final. It took six match points before Halep would yield to the No. 13 seed, but Bouchard's composure allowed her to become the first Canadian to reach a Grand Slam final.
"It was a little crazy. I've never really ended a match like that," she said. "Just really happy I kept my focus, didn't get distracted or anything and played well in the last game."
She'll face No. 6 Petra Kvitova in the finals.
Bouchard, seeded No. 13, was the only woman to reach the semifinals at both the Australian Open and the French Open, but she hadn't been able to take the next step until Thursday, which marked her first victory over a top-5 opponent. She relied on her trademark aggression and her big serve to see her through.
"I never say I'm surprised because I've put in a lot of hard work because it's been sort of 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 the season, but I expect myself to do even better than that," she said, matter-of-factly.
Bouchard won the first set after Halep rolled her ankle just five games into the match. The first set tie-break wasn't smooth either as the players had to endure a four-minute delay while Wimbledon officials attended to a sick patron. The break seemed to help Bouchard, who rallied off three consecutive points to stake the edge before claiming the initial set.
She then groomed a 5-1 lead in the second before a combination of nerves and Halep's resiliancy brought the game a bit closer before the Canadian could ultimately close it out. Halep couldn't return Bouchard's final serve out wide, sealing the victory for the young star.
Kvitova to Finals
The Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova handled Lucie Safarova in straight sets 7-6, 6-1 to advance to the women's finals at Wimbledon on Thursday. Kvitova is seeking her second Grand Slam title after winning at the All England Club in 2011.
"I know how it feels to hold the trophy," Kvitova said. "I really want to win my second title here and I will do everything I can," she said after dispatching her fellow countrywoman.
After the first set tie-break, Kvitova settled in as her powerful serve took over. Up 5-1 on serve, she won the first three points of the final game before closing it out with a riveting backhand. Kvitova improved to 6-0 against Safarova with the win.
"It was a tough match mentally because Lucie is a good friend of mine. I knew she would play her best tennis and she did. I'm just happy I won definitely."
Kvitova moves on to the finals, where she'll face the winner of No. 13 Eugenie Bouchard vs. No. 3 Simona Halep, which is currently being played on Center Court. She was just 21 when she won the Wimbledon singles championship in 2011.