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Rediff.com  » Sports » Wimbledon PHOTOS: Bouchard controls her nerves to reach final; Kvitova wins all-Czech showdown

Wimbledon PHOTOS: Bouchard controls her nerves to reach final; Kvitova wins all-Czech showdown

Last updated on: July 03, 2014 22:49 IST

Wimbledon PHOTOS: Bouchard controls her nerves to reach final; Kvitova wins all-Czech showdown

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Powerful Canadian Eugenie Bouchard overcame match-point jitters to claim an eventful 7-6(5), 6-2 victory over Romania's Simona Halep 7-6(5), 6-2 at Wimbledon on Thursday and reach a grand slam final for the first time.

The 20-year-old from Montreal harried and chased third seed Halep from the baseline, producing a series of forehand winners.

The match was interrupted three times. After four games Halep, 22, needed treatment on a sore ankle. Then in the tiebreak a spectator was taken ill in the sunshine and had to be led from the stand.

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Image: Eugenie Bouchard of Canada plays a backhand return
Photographs: Al Bello/Getty Images

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Wimbledon PHOTOS: Bouchard controls her nerves to reach final

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On Bouchard's first match point Halep served an ace, but 13th seed Bouchard complained she had been distracted by a noise in the crowd. She argued with the umpire Kader Nouni but the point stood.

With Bouchard rattled, Halep saved four more match points but her intensity was shot and she sent a ball long to offer the Canadian her sixth chance.

Bouchard thumped down a big serve that the French Open finalist could only push into the net.

"It was a little crazy. I have never ended a match like that," Bouchard said. "I'm happy I kept my focus and didn't get distracted and played well in the last game."

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Image: Eugenie Bouchard of Canada shakes hands with Simona Halep of Romania after winning their Ladies' Singles semi-final match
Photographs: Al Bello/Getty Images

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Wimbledon PHOTOS: Bouchard controls her nerves to reach final

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The Canadian, who reached the semi-finals at both the Australian and French Opens this year, meets 2011 champion Petra Kvitova in Saturday's final. The Czech beat compatriot Lucie Safarova in the first semi-final.

"I'm really excited ... it's my first grand slam final so I'm just going to go for it. I will probably have my toughest match yet so I'm looking forward to the challenge," a beaming Bouchard said.

"My coach will watch her play and give me some tips on how she plays, but I'm just going to go out there and play my game. I think I can play even better than I did today."

The semi-final victory shot Bouchard into the world's top 10 in only her second year on the professional tour.

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Image: Eugenie Bouchard of Canada serves
Photographs: Al Bello/Getty Images

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Wimbledon PHOTOS: Kvitova wins all-Czech showdown

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Former champion Petra Kvitova moved within one match of capturing a second Wimbledon title, ending the plucky resistance of Lucie Safarova 7-6 (6), 6-1 in their all-Czech showdown on Thursday.

Although few held out much hope of the 27-year-old Safarova beating her friend, having lost all five of their previous meetings, she had not lost a set en route to her first grand slam semi-final.

"It was a tough match mentally because Lucie is a great friend of mine, we know each other well off the court as well. I am just happy I won," sixth seed Kvitova, 24, told the BBC.

"I am very emotional but I have two days before the final to focus ... I know how it feels to lift that trophy so I will try my best to do it again."

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Image: Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic plays a forehand return during her Ladies' Singles semi-final match against Lucie Safarova of Czech Republic
Photographs: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

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Wimbledon PHOTOS: Kvitova wins all-Czech showdown to reach second final

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After having her serve broken in the opening game, Safarova quickly settled into unfamiliar surroundings on Centre Court, producing a series of venomous winners as the big-hitting left-handers slugged it out from the baseline.

The 23rd seed broke back in the fourth game and matched the powerful Kvitova every step of the way until the 2011 champion made the decisive breakthrough with a breathtaking cross-court forehand clinching a scintillating tiebreak.

Bloodied but unbowed, Safarova continued to attack at every opportunity but without the consistency required to unsettle her opponent.

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Image: Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic celebrates after beating compatriot Lucie Safarova in the women's singles semi-finals at Wimbledon
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

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Wimbledon PHOTOS: Kvitova wins all-Czech showdown to reach second final

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Kvitova stepped up a gear to forge into a 3-0 lead in the second set.

Safarova stemmed the flow in the fourth game but by then Kvitova had her measure and continued the relentless barrage of fierce returns and passing shots to secure victory.

Standing in the way of her second Wimbledon crown will be the 20-year-old Canadian Eugenie Bouchard, seeded 13th.


Image: Lucie Safarova of Czech Republic stands dejected after losing to Petra Kvitova
Photographs: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

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