LONDON–Thirteenth seed Eugenie Bouchard is the first Canadian to reach the Wimbledon Finals after she defeated third seed Simona Halep 7-6(7), 6-2 in one of the strangest matches of the tournament.
The first set lasted an hour, but had two major interruptions. Halep’s ankle hurt her, and she took a medical timeout to bandage it. Then a spectator in the audience was sick and the referee stopped play until the woman was removed. There is no word on her condition as of this writing.
Halep lost the tiebreak even though she outplayed Bouchard for much of the first set. But Bouchard picked up momentum late and was just quicker in the tiebreak. Bouchard can change the rhythm of a game in a split second, which threw off Halep in the tiebreak. The first set wore her out, and it was almost all Bouchard in the second set.
Bouchard broke Halep two out of six times and only committed eight unforced errors. However, Halep did not throw in the towel. Bouchard was up 5-1, but Halep showed new life after fighting off three match points to make it 5-2. In the next game, Halep fought off another, but Bouchard took a deep breath, recomposed herself, and slammed home a serve that Halep could not return to go through to the finals.
“I’m glad I regained my focus!” she said. “It’s tough work but it’s what I love. I love tough moments and challenges.”
She will play against 2011 Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova on Saturday.
“I’ll have my toughest match yet,” she continued. “I’m really excited. I’m just going to go for it.”