PARIS - In as many Grand Slams, Eugenie Bouchard has reached her second semi-final appearance, needing a hard-fought battle to get past Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro 7-6 (4), 2-6, 7-5 at Roland Garros on Tuesday.
It was a back-and-forth affair but in the end, the 18th-seeded Bouchard proved a little too much for No. 14 Suarez Navarro. Now, Bouchard advance to the semis hoping to do at least one better than she did at January's Australian Open where she fell to China's Li Na.
"I'm very content with a win like this," Bouchard told reporters following her win. "It was a battle throughout. She played very well especially on long points.
"The last set was key for me. I'm really excited to be playing Sharapova in a big match here."
After winning the opening set in an hour, Bouchard lost the second set before falling behind 4-1 in the third and deciding set. It was then that the Canadian roared back to defeat the Spaniard, taking the final - and the match - 7-5.
"I wouldn't say I surprised myself, no," said Bouchard. "I've come back in matches before. Tennis can be like that, a bit up and down. I just really tried to forget about what the score was or anything and just tried to play the right way, you know.
"Once I started going for my shots a little bit more it started working better. The third set it was just a really cool atmosphere I think for both of us to be playing like that. Even if I was down 5-2 or 4-1 in the third, (I didn't) worry too much -- keep going, keep going, keep going, and it paid off in the end."
En route to her quarter-final victory, Bouchard earned 46 winners, made 38 unforced errors and breaks on six of 14 chances.
Having become just the second Canadian woman to reach a Grand Slam semi in January in Melbourne, Eugenie Bouchard has now become the only Canuck female to reach a Grand Slam semi-final twice. Carling Bassett-Seguso became the first when she reached the final four at the 1984 US Open.
Waiting for Bouchard in the semi-final is four-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova - and the Westmount, Que., should know that this will be her toughest test to date, especially after losing to the Russian in her previous two meetings. The last time Bouchard and Sharapova squared off was during last year's French Open when the Russian defeated the Canadian in the second round.
Having lost in last year's final at Rolan Garros to Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova is on a mission to win this year's tournament.
"It was so tough losing in the final last year, being the defending champion," Sharapova said. "This year, to come back, I have the extra motivation to go further, and to be back on (this) stage is a really nice feeling."
Eugenie Bouchard may have her work cut out for year but nevertheless, her upcoming match with Sharapova should prove to be a great one.