Eugenie Bouchard, 2011 champ Petra Kvitova reach Wimbledon final - UBITENNIS
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Eugenie Bouchard, 2011 champ Petra Kvitova reach Wimbledon final

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TENNIS WIMBLEDON 2014 – The cliché about Canada is that it is a great place for beer and hockey players, but the line needs updating. Add tennis players. The nation has its first Wimbledon finalist. Eugenie Bouchard will meet a former Wimbledon winner, Petra Kvitova, in Saturday’s final Art Spander for Newsday

 

Results, Order of Play, Draws and Interviews from The Championships

In what could be called an upset, Eugenie Bouchard of Montreal defeated Simona Halep of Romania, 7-6 (5), 6-2, Friday in the second semifinal. Bouchard will meet a former Wimbledon winner, Petra Kvitova, in Saturday’s final. Kvitova beat fellow Czech and close friend Lucie Safarova, 7-6 (6), 6-1, in the first semifinal.

Halep, No. 3 in the WTA rankings and a finalist in the French Open last month, was affected by a thigh injury incurred earlier in the tournament and a left ankle that required heavy taping after she turned it in the fourth game of the match.

“It was difficult to continue,” Halep said. “I felt a big pain in the moment but then was better with the tape. But still I couldn’t push anymore on my leg.”

Bouchard, 20, the No. 11 seed, didn’t move Halep around the court as much as she might have under the circumstances but hit effective shots, and the 22-year-old Halep said as much.

“She’s hitting the ball very early and very fast,” Halep said. “She’s a great player and for sure will be on top soon.”

Bouchard, extremely confident, didn’t disagree. When asked if she was surprised about her win, the 2012 Wimbledon junior champion replied, “I’m never surprised. I’ve put in a lot of hard work. I expect results and always want more.”

The sixth-seeded Kvitova, 24, took the Wimbledon title in 2011 and then went into a slump from which she now has emerged. Safarova, 27, finally had a breakthrough, reaching a semifinal in her 27th Grand Slam appearance. Only four women took longer to get there.

“I knew it was going to be a tough match against her,” said Kvitova, now 6-0 against Safarova. “We know each other so well. From the beginning both of us were very nervous. I’m just glad I served well today.”

In 2011, Kvitova beat Venus Williams in the final. “Since then it’s been really up and down during the season,” she said. “I know a lot of people are expecting from me something more than I did probably. But on the other side, I still was in the top 10.”

That’s where Bouchard will be after Wimbledon. She also could be on top of the world.

“I get to make Canadian history again,” she said after becoming the first to reach the semifinals (an honor quickly shared by Milos Raonic in the men’s draw). “It’s always exciting. But my job is not done. I want to go a step further. I’m just going to go out there and play my game.”

Then, acting her age, she said, “It’s really cool. I got to stay at Wimbledon a full two weeks.”

Art Spander for Newsday

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Ahsleigh Barty overcomes Garbine Muguruza to reach the semifinals in Doha

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Ashleigh Barty fought back from losing the second set to beat Garbine Muguruza 6-1 6-7 (4-7) 6-2 after 1 hour and 51 minutes at the Qatar Total Open on Centre Court in Doha.

 

Barty and Muguruza were level at 1-1 in their two previous head-to-head matches, which went to the third set.

Barty received a walkover into the quarter final as Elena Rybakina pulled out injured after reaching two consecutive Premier-level finals in St. Petersburg and Dubai.

Barty broke twice in the second and sixth games and did not face a break point to win the first set 6-1.

Muguruza earned the first break of the second set in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead. Barty broke straight back in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4 to force the second set to the tie-break. Muguruza raced out to a 5-0 lead. Barty came back by winning four of the next five games, but Muguruza clinched the second set on their second set point.

Barty saved a break point in the first game of the third set and opened up a 5-2 lead after a streak of three consecutive breaks. The Australian player came back from 15-40 down in the last game and forced a backhand into the net from Muguruza on return to earn a match point and sealed the win with a break, as Muguruza sent her forehand wide.  Barty sets up a semifinal against Petra Kvitova in a re-match of the Australian Open quarter finals.

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Svetlana Kuznetsova and Petra Kvitova reach the semifinals in Doha

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Svetlana Kuznetsova beat Belinda Bencic 6-4 6-4 in 1 hour and 36 minutes to advance to the semifinal at the Doha Total Qatar Open. Kuznetsova took a re-match against the Swiss player, who won their previous head-to-head match in St. Petersburg earlier this month by the scoreline of 7-6 (7-4) 6-4. Kuznetsova reached two finals in Doha in 2004 and 2007 in his 11 previous appearances in Doha.

 

Kuznetsova wasted eight break points in the first set before breaking serve in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead with a backhand down the line winner. Kuznetsova earned a double break to open up a 4-1 lead, as Bencic hit a volley into the net. Bencic pulled one of the breaks back in the sixth game. Kuznetsova saved a double break-back in the eighth game to open up a 5-3 lead with her sixth ace. Bencic fended off one match serving at 4-5 as Kuznetsova netted a forehand. Bencic took a 0-30 lead as Kuznetsova was serving out for the match. Kuznetsova won the final four points to clinch the second set 6-4 setting up a semifinal match against Aryna Sabalenka.

Petra Kvitova battled past Ons Jabeur 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-4) after 1 hour and 44 minutes. Kvitova went down a break in the second set and saved two set points before clinching her ninth consecutive win in Doha.

Kvitova raced to a 4-0 lead with a double break in the opening set. Jabeur pulled back both breaks to draw level to 4-4 and broke Kvitova, as she was serving for the set to force a tie-break.

Kvitova earned a decisive mini-break and won the final five points from 2-2 to clinch the first set tie-break.

Jabeur broke at the start of the second set to open up a 3-1 lead. Kvitova broke back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Both players traded breaks in the 11th and 12th games to set up a second tie-break.

Kvitova raced out to a 6-2 lead in the tie-break. Jabeur saved two match points but Kvitova closed it out at his third opportunity setting up a semifinal against either Gabrine Muguruza or Ashleigh Barty.

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Aryna Sabalenka comes back from a set down to beat Zheng Saisai on a windy day in Doha

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Aryna Sabalenka came back from a set down and a break down in the third set to beat unseeded Chinese player Zheng Saisai 3-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 after 2 hours and 21 minutes on a windy day at the Qatar Total Open in Doha. Sabalenka took a re-match against Zheng, who won their first head-to-head match in San José last August.

 

Zheng saved three break points in her first service game. After a trade of breaks in the fifth and sixth games, Zheng came back from 40-0 down to break serve in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead after saving six game points. Zheng held serve for 5-3 before breaking serve for the third time in the ninth game, as Sabalenka made her sixth double fault.

Sabalenka broke serve in the third game at 30 to take a 2-1 lead. Zheng broke straight back after a backhand pass followed by a volley error from Sabalenka.

Sabalenka saved a break point in the sixth game with a service winner. Both players held serve in the next eight consecutive games to force the second set to the tie-break. Sabalenka raced out to a 3-0 lead with two volley winners and sealed the tie-break 7-2 with a croscourt backhand forcing the match to the third set.

Zheng earned the first break of the third set with a backhand winner down the line in the first game. Sabalenka broke back in a four-deuce sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Sabalenka reeled off 15 of the final 16 points to win the final three games with a break in the eighth game. The Belarusian player sealed the win with an ace setting up a semifinal against either Belinda Bencic or Svetlana Kuznetsova.

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