Third time lucky for Bouchard
TENNIS

Third time lucky for Bouchard

It proved to be a case of third time lucky for Eugenie Bouchard as she overcame Simona Halep 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 to reach the Wimbledon final.

The Canadian made the last four at both the Australian Open and at Roland Garros earlier this year, but sealed her first grand-slam final berth on Centre Court on Thursday.

An ankle injury early in the match came as a huge blow to Halep's chances and, despite fighting on valiantly, the world number three was edged out in the first set before succumbing to her 20-year-old opponent in the second.

Petra Kvitova, champion in 2011, is all that now stands between Bouchard, who will become the highest-ranked Canadian of all time regardless of the outcome of the final, and a first major title.

After sharing the opening two games, Halep made the first break of serve in the third to put herself in the ascendancy early on.

However, the match soon took a disappointing turn for the Romanian as Bouchard was instantly back on terms - Halep going over on her left ankle during the final point and requiring heavy strapping in order to continue.


The setback initially appeared to have minimal impact and, aside from surviving two break points at 4-3 down, Halep comfortably clung on to force a tie-break.

However, in a tie-break that was briefly interrupted by a medical concern in the crowd and saw more points go against the serve than with it, Bouchard converted a set point at the second time of asking to move in front.

Bouchard, who enjoyed remarkable success at the net throughout, winning nine points from 10 approaches, conceded the opening game of the second set, but won the next five to assert her dominance in the match.

Three match points came and went at 5-1 up and Bouchard required a further three in the next game to become the first Canadian to reach a Wimbledon singles final, two years after claiming the junior title at the All England Club.

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