With her win over Ana Ivanovic in the quarter-finals just two days ago, Eugenie Bouchard became the first Canadian in 30 years to reach the semi-final of a Grand Slam. On Wednesday, the Montrealer was hoping to continue her glorious run. Unfortunately, it was not to be as China's Li Na was too much for the Canuck on this day.
The 30th-ranked Bouchard was in tough against No. 4 Li Na and it showed as the 31-year-old defeated Bouchard 6-2, 6-4 to advance to Saturday's final where she will hope to avenge her Aussie Open Final loss in 2013.
It was a nervous start to the match for Bouchard who didn't win a point in her first three service games. While she was able to keep up with Li afterwards, Bouchard simply could not compete with the No. 4 seed in the long run, bowing out in straight sets.
Bouchard's biggest weakness on this day was arguably Li's backhand which the Chinese women won with 16 times before, fittingly, winning the match on the same delivery.
Overall, while it is a disappointing end to her glorious run, Eugenie Bouchard ought to feel proud of what she's accomplished down under. Her No. 30 ranking will undoubtedly rise in the WTA rankings but more than that, the 19-year-old had all of Canada on her side, especially during her quarter-final tilt with the aforementioned Ana Ivanovic which saw TSN attract a record 1.5 million viewers.
While disappointment surrounds the end of Eugenie Bouchard's quest at the Aussie Open, it certainly has been an exciting few weeks, which includes the runs of fellow Canadian Milos Raonic and Vasek Pospisil early on in the tournament,
A solid tournament by Eugenie Bouchard but Li Na, on the verge of retirement within the last year, continues to write her own feel-good story being on the precipice of an elusive Australian Open crown.