PARIS - She may have lost on Thursday but Canadian Eugenie Bouchard played as if she was worthy of being a semi-finalist. Russian Maria Sharapova had to give it everything she had to oust the 20-year-old, but she did it leaving Bouchard disappointed in her second Grand Slam semi in as many events.

Bouchard won the opening the set, but Sharapova rebounded in the second for a marathon win before pulling away in the third and deciding set. Sharapova won 4-6, 7-5, 6-2, preventing Bouchard from becoming the first Canadian (man or woman) to reach a Grand Slam final in the Open era.

"It was a tough battle, it was what I expected," said Bouchard. "I didn't play as well as I had earlier in the tournament. It's always disappointing to be a bit off. I needed to be aggressive and go for my shots."

It was evident to nearly everyone that the 18th-seeded just wasn't happy on the big stage. She had wanted to win her matchup on Thursday so badly that she was just all the more devestated when she came up short.

"She was actually very, very disappointed," Canadian Fed Cup team captain Sylvain Bruneau said on a conference call. "She was not speaking much and I think it shows how much she believes in herself. Sometimes those tough losses are painful but sometimes they're good.

"Sometimes you learn from it and they hurt a little bit and the next time you're in this position, you do a couple things differently and the outcome is different."

While this loss must have been a crushing one for Bouchard, it will go down as a valuable learning lesson for the youngster who has now made the final four in the first two Grand Slams of the calendar year, dating back to her run at the Australian Open in January. In addition, this was only Bouchard's second time competing at the French Open and to have come so far on the clay surface that forces even the best of players to struggle speaks volumes about the Canadian's immense skill and determination. But still, after losing a match that lasted two-and-half hours, the defeat is a bitter pill to swallow for the native of Westmount, Quebec.

"It was a tough battle, it was what I expected," said Bouchard. "I didn't play as well as I had earlier in the tournament. It's always disappointing to be a bit off. I needed to be aggressive and go for my shots."

It certainly doesn't help matters that Bouchard's second-round exit in her French Open debut last year was at the hands of Maria Sharapova.

With that sad, however, this has been another major stepping stone for Eugenie Bouchard as we all look forward to seeing her next month at the All-England Club where she hopes to do one better than her showing at Roland Garros.