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Rediff.com  » Sports » Australian Open PHOTOS: Bouchard stuns Ivanovic, meets Li Na in semis

Australian Open PHOTOS: Bouchard stuns Ivanovic, meets Li Na in semis

Last updated on: January 21, 2014 18:07 IST

Australian Open PHOTOS: Bouchard stuns Ivanovic, meets Li Na in semis

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Canadian teenager Eugenie Bouchard kept her poise in the biggest match of her life to oust Ana Ivanovic in a three-set thriller and set up an Australian Open semi-final against China's Li Na on Tuesday.

"It's not exactly a surprise," said the confident 19-year-old, the first Canadian to reach the last four in Melbourne.

"I always expect myself to do well. I'm just happy to have gone through this step. I'm not done. I have a match on Thursday. I'm just looking forward to that."

 


Image: Eugenie Bouchard of Canada serves
Photographs: Petar Kujundzic/Reuters

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Bouchard was a match for everything the 14th seed threw at her

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Cheered on by "Genie's Army" - the band of young Australians who reward her with a cuddly toy after every victory - Bouchard was a match for everything the 14th seed threw at her and sealed victory after two hours and 24 minutes.


Image: Eugenie Bouchard of Canada celebrates winning her quarterfinal match against Ana Ivanovic of Serbia
Photographs: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

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I was emotionally a little bit flat: Ivanovic

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Ivanovic, hindered by a hip niggle, was unable to take advantage of the path she had cleared to the final, stunning world number one Serena Williams on Sunday to blow open the top half of the draw.

"I was emotionally a little bit flat," admitted Ivanovic. "I was lacking a little bit aggressiveness that I had in my previous matches.

"I think she has very bright future in front of her. She's very aggressive player. It's sometimes very hard to read her game. There is no really patterns like with other players you have. She's a great mover."


Image: Ana Ivanovic of Serbia receives medical attention
Photographs: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images
Tags: Ivanovic

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Li Na in fourth Australian Open semi-final

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China's Li Na wasted little time in advancing to her fourth Australian Open semi-final with a seemingly effortless 6-2, 6-2 demolition of Flavia Pennetta.

The 31-year-old, who has reached two of the last three finals at MelbournePark, blasted the 28th-seeded Italian off the court in 66 minutes with a strong first serve and barrage of powerful ground strokes.

The fourth seed has raced through the last two rounds at the season-opening grand slam after almost being knocked out by Lucie Safarova in the third round when she had to fight off a match point.

She felt that victory had given her confidence she could win her first title at Melbourne Park.


Image: Li Na of China serves in her quarterfinal match against Flavia Pennetta of Italy
Photographs: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

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'I have a lot of confidence, or belief in myself to do well'

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"I have a lot of confidence because I was a match point down and I came back to win the match," Li said. "I have a lot of confidence, or belief in myself to do well.

"I wish I could do one more step this year."

Li, who has become a favourite of the Melbourne Park crowd in recent years, revealed why she does not vent her frustration by smashing racquets during matches.

"I feel the racquet is my friend," she said in a courtside interview on Rod Laver Arena, "... she is with me on the court all the time so I have to be friends with her and she can be nice to me."

Pennetta tried to stem Li's momentum by changing her racquet late in the second set but it was to no avail.

The damage had been done earlier in the match with her service game falling apart. She won just 25 of 54 points on her own serve in the entire match.

Her lack of accuracy, with less than 40 percent of her first serves going in, allowed Li to jump out to a 5-0 lead in the first set and 4-0 in the second.

Li clinched victory with a forehand winner.

 


Image: Li Na of China plays a forehand
Photographs: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

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