London: Eugenie Bouchard defeated Romania’s Simona Halep 7-6 (5), 6-2 in semifinal play at Wimbledon on Thursday to become the first Canadian women’s singles player to advance to a Grand Slam final.
Bouchard, from Westmount, Que., converted her sixth match point to complete the victory in one hour 34 minutes.
The 13th-seeded Canadian will next face sixth-seeded Petra Kvitova on Saturday. Kvitova beat fellow Czech left-hander Lucie Safarova 7-6 (6), 6-1 in the early semifinal.
“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.”
Another Canadian is in the final four of the men’s draw. Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., will take on Switzerland’s Roger Federer in semifinal play Friday.
It was third time lucky for Bouchard, she had lost both previous semifinals in Grand Slam tournaments this year. She has not dropped a set in six matches so far at Wimbledon.
Bouchard is the only woman to have advanced to all three Grand Slam semifinals this year. She won the 2012 junior title at Wimbledon.
“I don’t have words to describe my feeling right now,” Kvitova said. “It was a tough match mentally, as well, because Lucie is a good friend of mine. We know each (other) very well off the court and on the court, as well.”
The winners will play Sunday in the final.