LONDON - Canadian tennis fans can now mark July 3, 2014 as a date to remember. That is because Eugenie Bouchard made history, becoming the first Canadian (man or woman) to advance to a Grand Slam final in the Open era following her straight-sets victory over Romania's Simona Halep 7-6 (5), 6-2 on Thursday at Wimbledon.
But as wonderful as clinching a berth in a Grand Slam final must be, there is no doubt that Eugenie Bouchard is simply not content just to be there. This was her Grand Slam final is as many events in 2014 and, as the old adage goes, the third time was the charm. But for the 2012 Junior Wimbledon winner, leaving the All-England Club empty-handed is simply not an option.
"It's my first Grand Slam final so I'm just going to go for it," Bouchard told ESPN. "I'll have probably my toughest match yet so I'm looking forward to the challenge."
Waiting for Bouchard in the final at the All-England Club is the sixth-seeded Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic. The southpaw defeated fellow Czech Lucie Safarova 7-6 (6), 6-1 in the earlier semi-final matchup.
Kvitova knows what it's like to win a Grand Slam as she is the only player born in the 1990s to have won a major, winning here at the All-England Club in 2011.
"I know how (it feels) when you hold the trophy so I really want to win my second title here and I will do everything I can," Kvitova said.
As for Bouchard, the No. 13 seed out of Westmount, Quebec, had an easier time with Halep that most anticipated, although the two did start off with a marathon opening set.
This marks a historic, glorious for Canadian tennis, and that could double on Friday as Milos Raonic tries to earn a spot in the Wimbledon Final on the men's side. But he will have to defeat seven-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer to do so.