Published On: Tue, Jan 21st, 2014

Australian Open 2014: Eugenie Bouchard Reaches Semi-Finals

Teenager Eugenie Bouchard continued her impressive run at the Australian Open as she beat Ana Ivanovic to set up a semi-final against Li Na.The Canadian, 19, had to come from behind after the Serb edged a topsy-turvy first set 7-5.Bouchard reaches

Both players struggled to hold serve in set two, but Bouchard took control after an Ivanovic medical timeout.

And she dominated the third to win 5-7 7-5 6-2, ensuring a semi-final against Li, who beat Flavia Pennetta.

Rod Laver Arena

Bouchard (Can) [30] beat Ivanovic (Ser) [14] 5-7 7-5 6-2

Ivanovic, conqueror of top seed Serena Williams in the previous round, looked on course to reach the semi-finals when she won the first set, finally ending a run of five consecutive breaks of serve.

An inability to hold serve by both players was to prove a theme throughout, with Bouchard in particular struggling when tossing the ball into the sun.

But it was the Canadian, who had never previously made it beyond the third round of a Grand Slam, who came out on top in a second set littered with service errors.

She kept her composure after Ivanovic left the court midway through it for treatment and, as the former world number one struggled, Bouchard asserted herself with some aggressive play.

In the decider the teenager managed to overcome her previous service wobbles, breaking Ivanovic to lead 3-1 and looking comfortable thereafter.

Asked how she was coping with her new-found level of success, Bouchard said: “It’s something I’ve been doing since I was five years old and working my whole life for and sacrificing a lot of things for. So it’s not exactly a surprise. I always expect myself to do well.

“I’m just happy to have gone through this step. I’m not done. I have a match on Thursday. I’m just looking forward to that.”

Ivanovic said: “I was battling with my right leg since the beginning of the tournament. Then the left one came on today. Despite all that, I was still on court. I was doing my best. Today she was the better player.”

Li (Chn) [4] beat Pennetta (Ita) [28] 6-2 6-2

Two-time finalist Li raced into a fourth Melbourne semi-final as she produced a ruthless display against Pennetta.

The fourth seed from China broke the Italian in the first game of the match, following it up with two more to lead the first set 5-0.

Pennetta, the 28th seed, stopped the rot with a break of her own but Li still took the opener 6-2.

And the second set was equally one-sided as Li eased to a 6-2 6-2 victory.

Li said her belief that she can repeat her final appearances of 2011 and 2013 has been growing ever since she recovered from being on the brink of defeat in the third round against Lucie Safarova.

“I’ve got a lot of confidence because I was match point down and I came back to win that match,” said the 31-year-old. “I believe in myself even more. I hope I can take one more step this year.”

Berdych (Cze) [7] v Ferrer (Spa) [3]

Wawrinka (Swi) [8] v Djokovic (Ser) [2]

Quotes of the day

“Justin Bieber.” Eugenie Bouchard is understandably surprised to be asked who her dream date would be, immediately after reaching her first Grand Slam semi-final, and keeps it Canadian

“I have a koala, a kangaroo, a kookaburra and a wombat. They skipped the first match. I will create luggage space. It’s worth it to take my wombat home.” Bouchard keeps track of the gifts showered on her by her fan club, the “Genie Army”

“Some people love the fame. They love it. They embrace it in different ways. For me, I was kind of shy about it.” Ana Ivanovic is asked about dealing with fame, something Bouchard is likely to experience

“The racquet is my friend. She is with me on the court all the time, so I have to be friends with her and then she can be good to me.” Li Na explains why she treats her racquet well and is unlikely to be seen smashing it in frustration