Meets former champion Petra Kvitova in the finals on Saturday
Canadian Eugenie Bouchard is not quite fully satisfied after reaching the Wimbledon final, with the 20-year-old, who will crack the top 10, taking aim at going one step further when she faces 2011 winner Petra Kvitova on Saturday.
Bouchard would become the first Canadian woman to lift a trophy at a major as the next generation starts to knock on the door in the sport.
The optimistic and confident Bouchard, an identical twin, makes no secret of her wish to claim the top honour at the All England club where she won junior Wimbledon just two years ago.
“I’m happy to get to my first Grand Slam final. It’s very exciting. It’s what I’ve worked so long for. I’m just proud of myself for today’s effort,” she said, after beating French Open finalist Simona Halep of Romania in straight sets.
“It’s not like a surprise to me, I expect good results like this. It’s a step in the right direction. I get to play in the final. I still have another match, so it’s not a full celebration yet.”
A flawless run
Bouchard has become the hottest topic in the women’s game after reaching her first grand slam semi-final last January in Australia and duplicating that showing in Paris a month ago. Her Wimbledon run has been flawless, reaching the final without the loss of a set. But the job is not quite over for the admittedly driven young woman. “I’m going to stay focused and enjoy it (success) after (the final). I didn’t set a specific goal of reaching a certain round of this tournament, but I’ve been feeling good these whole two weeks. After doing well in the past few slams, I’ve been believing since the beginning of the tournament that I can do really well. I’m just trying to take it one match at a time. It’s really important not to get ahead of ourselves…”
Toughest match yet
Bouchard played her only match against Czech Kvitova last summer in Toronto, taking a loss. But that was a tennis lifetime ago for the 13th seed. “I think it will be my toughest match yet. I’m looking forward to the challenge,” she said of the final, which could be played under a closed Centre Court roof due to a forecast of possible rain.
While the tall blonde gets the inevitable comparisons to Maria Sharapova, the Wimbledon winner a decade ago at age 17, Bouchard shrugs off the compliments. “I’m also I’m my own person. I don’t want to be the next someone
else. I want to be the first of me... . I’ll try to make my own history.”
APFormer champion Petra Kvitova
“There were a lot of positive things I got, but definitely when I won here in 2011 I needed to change a little bit on the court and off the court, as well, to be used to the pressure, media, and everything like that.”
The Czech said she was pleased to be back contending for a second Wimbledon trophy. “I’m back in the final and I’m feeling well. I feel definitely ready for a final. I’m going to try my best. When I played Bouchard last year in Toronto, she was just coming up. I find her a very solid and talented player. She really seems that she is confident in her game right now... She’s playing aggressively from near the baseline… ”