Eugenie Bouchard of Canada shakes hands after defeating Simona Halep of Romania. (Pavel Golovkin/AP)
Powerful Canadian Eugenie Bouchard overcame match-point jitters to claim an eventful 7-6(5) 6-2 victory over Romania’s Simona Halep 7-6(5) 6-2 at Wimbledon on Thursday and reach a grand slam final for the first time.
The 20-year-old from Westmount, Que. harried and chased third seed Halep from the baseline, producing a series of forehand winners.
The match was interrupted three times. After four games Halep, 22, needed treatment on a sore ankle. Then in the tiebreak a spectator was taken ill in the sunshine and had to be led from the stand.
On Bouchard’s first match point Halep served an ace, but 13th seed Bouchard complained she had been distracted by a noise in the crowd. She argued with the umpire Kader Nouni but the point stood.
Eugenie Bouchard of Canada reacts after defeating Simona Halep of Romania in their women's singles semi-final tennis match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London July 3, 2014. (Stefan Wermuth/Reuters)
With Bouchard rattled, Halep saved four more match points but her intensity was shot and she sent a ball long to offer the Canadian her sixth chance.
Bouchard thumped down a big serve that the French Open finalist could only push into the net.
The Canadian, who reached the semi-finals at both the Australian and French Opens this year, meets 2011 champion Petra Kvitova in Saturday’s final. The Czech beat compatriot Lucie Safarova in the first semi-final.
Simona Halep of Romania receives treatment on her ankle. (AP Photo)
“I’m really excited ... it’s my first grand slam final so I’m just going to go for it. I will probably have my toughest match yet so I’m looking forward to the challenge,” a beaming Bouchard said.
“My coach will watch her play and give me some tips on how she plays, but I’m just going to go out there and play my game. I think I can play even better than I did today.”
The semi-final victory shot Bouchard into the world’s top 10 in only her second year on the professional tour.
Another Canadian is in the final four of the men’s draw — Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., will take on Switzerland’s Roger Federer in semifinal play Friday.
Eugenie Bouchard of Canada, left, and her opponent Simona Halep of Romania pose for photographs just prior to their women’s singles semifinal match. (AP Photo)
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