Wimbledon 2014: 'Princess' Eugenie Bouchard has eyes on seizing the throne after beating Serena Williams conquerer Alize Cornet
The Canadian remains on course for her third successive grand slam semi-final
Might the girl named after an English princess be crowned queen of Wimbledon? There is something in the perfect blondeness, brilliant tennis and bristling hauteur of Eugenie Bouchard that impels hearts and minds towards that inevitable conclusion.
The 20-year-old even admits to regal tendencies, which depending on the hour of the day can have members of her family and team running for cover. And today is Canada Day, perhaps another detail carrying the girl from Montreal on a providential wind to a threshold no Canadian has ever crossed.
“You can ask my coach or my parents or anyone that I can be a princess,” she said. “I mean, they’re not horrible [princess tendencies]. But I can be moody in the morning. My fitness trainer carries my tennis bag around. But that’s so I don’t get tired because I want to save all my energy for the match. I can demand a few things once in a while, but I do it with love,” Bouchard said smiling coyly.
The idea of Queen Eugenie certainly had merit on Centre Court, where the desire for Bouchard to ascend the throne was made plain by a standing ovation after her 7-6, 7-5 victory over Serena Williams’ conqueror Alizé Cornet that had the rails bending under the roof.
Having progressed to the semi-finals in Australia and France, she is now one more win from making it three Grand Slam semis on the spin in this only her second year on tour following her junior Wimbledon success of 2012.
Withering ground strokes allied to a granite will proved the elements that ultimately did for the robust challenge of Cornet, who played a full part in a blazing encounter. The first set was decided on a tie-break after both serves held throughout and the second looked to be heading the same way before Bouchard broke at 6-5 to avoid another shoot-out.
“We played some good tennis, some tough points,” Bouchard said. “I had to really try and finish off the points. That’s definitely the most physical match I’ve played this tournament. I’m proud I really fought until the end. She’s a good fighter, too. We were really just battling.”
Eugenie Bouchard receives support on Centre Court
Last year’s beaten finalist Sabine Lisicki required a third set to see off the resurgent Ana Ivanovic in their disrupted third round encounter. Resuming a set to the good, the German’s serve was all over the place in the second, but after the first rain delay of another stop-start day, she cleaned up in the third to advance 6-4, 3-6, 6-1.
“I came back and was more focused and serving better. With her you have to be ready for every single point. If you have a chance you have to use it, otherwise it can be gone in no time,” Lisicki said.
An out-of-sorts Caroline Wozniacki failed to build on the momentum of an impressive first week, falling in straight sets 2-6, 5-7 to Barbora Zahlavova Strycova. Having progressed to the fourth round for the first time, the former world No 1 was hit by altitude sickness, admitting she could barely get out of first gear.
“It was a tough one. There was no rhythm out there. I didn’t serve as well as I have earlier in the tournament and when I had opportunities I made some stupid mistakes,” the Dane said.
American teenage star Madison Keys exited without hitting another ball, an abductor injury forcing her withdrawal from the tournament, unable to complete her disrupted match against Yaroslava Shvedova.
The 2011 champion, Petra Kvitova, eased into the last eight with a 6-3, 6-2 win over China’s Shuai Peng.
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