LONDON - Entering this weekend, only three Canadians have ever reach the fourth-round in the rich 137-history of Wimbledon. After Saturday, that number increased to five as Eugenie Bouchard and Milos Raonic each advanced to the Round of 16 at the All-England Club.
If there was anything to slow these two Canucks down on Saturday, it was the rain delay that lasted nearly five hours. But once the skies closed and the grass dried, Bouchard and Raonic found themselves on a misson as both ultimately won their respective third-round matches in straight-sets.
With her 6-3, 6-4 victory over Germany's Andrea Petkovic, Bouchard joined Carling Bessett-Seguso (1983, 1986), Patrica Hy-Boulaid (1996-97) and Daniel Nestor (1999) as the only Canadians to enter the second-week of Wimbledon. Plus, with the stunning upset of top-seeded Serena Williams that same day, Bouchard now finds herself with an even stronger chance of making more Wimbledon history, although Maria Sharapova, who defeated the Canadian in the French Open semi-final, is still in.
En route to her win, the No. 13 seed from Westmount, Quebec, fired 30 winners and made 14 unforced errors while breaking five times in a match that lasted approximately 90 minutes.
"I played well, even though it was straight sets it was a battle," said Bouchard. "It was tough with the lone rain delay, but it was the same for both girls
"I'm happy I was able to close it out with any serve, being aggressive and taking the ball early. During the rain delay I tried to conserve energy -- I wanted to give it all on the court."
Next up for the 20-year-old is France's Alize Cornet, who is coming off the high of upsetting the aforementioned Serena Williams on Saturday. These two previously met on clay in Strasbourg last year where the Frenchwoman emerged victorious.
As for Milos Raonic, he became the fifth Canadian ever to advance to the Round of 16 at Wimbledon.by defeating Lukasz Kubot of Poland 7-6(2), 7-6(4), 6-2.
En route to the victory, Raonic fired 30 aces and 50 winners, breaking twice with just six unforced errors. He may have had to fight hid way to victory in the opening two sets, but Raonic proceeded to dominate in the third set to advance.
"I was able to be dominant on my serve, I only lost nine points on it," said Raonic. "This definitely makes my life a lot easier and puts pressure on him.
"But at the same time, I didn't really have my opportunities. I played a few good points in tiebreaks and he was able to of hold on."
Raonic's win also marks the first time he has won three-straight matches on grass since accomplishing the feat at Halle, Germany in 2011 and 2012.
The Round of 16 begins on Monday and you can be sure that more and more Canadians will be tuning in to see how both of their country's contingents fare having already made history.