(July 3, 2014) WIMBLEDON – Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard will face off against 2011 champion Petra Kvitova for the Wimbledon title on Saturday at the All England Club.
Bouchard became Canada’s first Grand Slam finalist by beating French Open runner-up Halep 7-6 (5), 6-2, while No. 6 Kvitova defeated countrywoman and friend No. 23 Lucie Safarova 7-6 (6), 6-1 in the first all-Czech women’s major semifinal.
In the fourth game of the Bouchard – Halep match on Thursday, play was delayed for five minutes for a medical time out for Simona Halep in the fourth game due to a left ankle injury.
Play was also halted again, in the middle of a first set tiebreaker, due to a spectator being ill. Despite the distractions, the 13th seed Bouchard still held her concentration.
The 20-year-old Bouchard who is playing in just her sixth major said: “What I do well is I really don’t let it get to me or affect me.”
Halep, the No. 3 seed said of her injuries: “It was difficult to continue because I twist my ankle and was very hard. I felt a big pain in the moment, but then was better with the tape.
“But still I couldn’t push anymore in my leg. My first serve was really bad after that. Yeah, it was difficult to continue with another injury.”
“As I said, in tiebreak was a lucky ball at 4-2 and she came really well back after that.
“After losing a set, it’s really tough to say, Let’s play two more to win with two injuries, I can say.
“I lost my energy because I am a little bit tired also. I played many matches. After French Open was really short the time to recover. But, you know, I’m really happy that I could play semifinal here. Is my best result in Wimbledon.
“I cannot be sad now. I just want to enjoy this result and to look forward to play many more matches at the Grand Slams.”
“She played also well when we played together in Indian Wells. But, of course, here, this surface, is better for her I think because it’s faster and she’s staying very close to the baseline. She hitting the ball very early and very fast.
“Yeah, I think she improved more maybe in confidence. She has more confidence now and more experience because she played well also in French Open.
“She’s a great player, and for sure she will be in top very soon.”
“It’s not like a surprise to me,” Bouchard said of her success here at Wimbledon. “I expect good results like this. So for me, I was like, Okay, good. It’s a step in the right direction. I get to play in the final. You know, I still have another match, so it’s not a full celebration yet.”
“I get to make Canadian history again,” Bouchard said about being the first Canadian to reach a major final in the Open Era. “It’s always exciting and special when I can make history. My job is not done. I want to go another step further.
“So I’m going to stay focused and enjoy it after.”
It was a battle between longtime friends with Kvitova and Safarova. After a tight first set which went to a tiebreak, the match went all the former champion’s way. From 6-6 in the first set, Kvitova using a dominating serve and forehand won 31 of the next 48 points to complete the victory and reach her second Wimbledon final.
“She was just better there today,” Safarova said. “We had a really close first set; second set she was just a step better.
“So it was a good run for me. I mean, it’s the best result of my career. She’s my friend, so once the match was done I just wished her all the best. I hope she’s going to win it.”
“Today, of course, to play Lucie on the Centre Court in the semifinal of Wimbledon, it’s never easy,” Kvitova said. “I did everything what I could. I mean, I was just very happy after that.
“I mean, it’s still one more to come. I want to be focused on that now.”
“I think these three years (since winning Wimbledon) was really up and down during the season,” the 24-year-old said. “I knew that a lot of people are expecting from me something more than I did probably.
“But on the other side, I was still in the top 10 and I did everything what I could. I was practicing very hard and everything. But it’s never easy with the girls obviously.
“Yeah, was a lot of positive things I got, but definitely when I won here 2011 I needed to change a little bit myself on the court and off the court, as well, to used to the pressure, media, and everything like that.”
THE CHAMPIONSHIPS – WIMBLEDON, GREAT BRITAIN
JUNE 23-JULY 5, 2014
RESULTS – JULY 3, 2014
Singles – Semifinals
(13) Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) d. (3) Simona Halep (ROU) 76(5) 62
(6) Petra Kvitova (CZE) d. (23) Lucie Safarova (CZE) 76(6) 61
Doubles – Quarterfinals
(2) Errani/Vinci (ITA/ITA) d. (6) Barty/Dellacqua (AUS/AUS) 64 26 60
(9) Hlavackova/Zheng (CZE/CHN) d. Pavlyuchenkova/Safarova (RUS/CZE) 61 46 63
(14) Babos/Mladenovic (HUN/FRA) d. (11) Kudryavtseva/Rodionova (RUS/AUS) 63 26 64