Canada’s Genie Bouchard is on the way to her third Grand Slam semi-final of the year, this time at the All-England Club in a wide-open Wimbledon that is ripe for the taking.
The native of Westmount, Que. is gunning to become the first Canadian to win a Grand Slam senior singles title. She’s the only woman to reach the semis at all three Grand Slams of 2014, and she’s done so this time by cruising past Germany’s Angelique Kerber in Wednesday’s quarter-final, 6-3, 6-4.
Bouchard will face No.3-seeded Simona Halep of Romania on Thursday, who is also in the hunt for her first Grand Slam title after recently losing in the French Open final to Maria Sharapova.
After dusting Kerber in less than an hour at Roland Garros last month, No. 13-seeded Bouchard did it once again in a similar swift, business-like fashion. The 20-year-old Quebecer beat the No. 9 seed by doing what she does best – dictating the pace of the match, crushing forehands, and changing the ball’s direction on a dime, tallying 29 winners. It was a far cry from their matchup less than a year ago at the U.S Open, when Kerber defeated her young opponent in three sets.
Kerber didn’t seem to have the same jump that she had a day earlier as she upset Maria Sharapova in a two-and-a-half-hour slug fest.
Both players were able to sidestep tournament favourite Serena Williams, who was upset by Alize Cornet in the third round.
Bouchard has made strong memories over the past few years at Wimbledon. She won singles and doubles titles as a junior at the All-England Club, and last year had one of her first big breakthrough moments when she upset Ana Ivanovic on centre court.
Bouchard and Halep have met just once, and it was a 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 win for the 22-year-old Romanian in the Round of 16 at Indian Wells back in March. Both youngsters are 15-2 in Grand Slam matches this year. But the Canadian is 0-2 in her semi-finals, losing to Li Na at the Australian Open and Sharapova at the French Open.
If Bouchard is to get past Halep, she would meet the winner of a semi-final between No.6-seeded Petra Kvitova and No. 23 Lucie Safarova. Kvitova is the only one among them to have won a slam.
Bouchard will jump inside the Top 10 as the result of this run. She will become the highest-ranked Canadian woman singles player ever, soaring to a possible No.8 when the next rankings come out.