Bouchard: I can win Wimbledon

Bouchard: I can win Wimbledon

Eugenie Bouchard is convinced she can win Wimbledon in just her second full year on tour.

The Canadian’s bustling game will be put to the test in a mouthwatering semi-final against fellow rising star Simona Halep on Thursday.

And Bouchard is eager for another glorious All England Club memory, having claimed the girls’ singles title only two years ago in a triumph she still places top of her tennis achievements.

“Winning the junior title was still, I think, to this day my proudest accomplishment in my career,” she said.

“I’m definitely happy to have some success at Wimbledon. I love this tournament.

“I’m excited to be in the semis. But, of course never satisfied, so I definitely want to go a step further, or as far as I can.

“When I was nine I decided to be a professional tennis player. So for me, professional tennis player is succeeding, top 20, top 10. As I started playing more and more, I really had concrete dreams of winning a grand slam.

“Every time I play, I realise I can play with this level and play with these top girls.”

The fearless attitude is reflected in Bouchard’s aggressive tennis, and Halep will have her hands full.

But Halep reached the French Open final last month on the strength of her more compact game, with which she makes few errors and manoeuvres opponents skilfully.

Bouchard, through to her third grand slam semi-final of the year after outstanding runs in Australia and France, has yet to convert one of those last-four opportunities.

But with the likes of Sharapova and Serena Williams falling early this fortnight, Bouchard sees a gradual takeover under way at the top.

”I think it’s a normal evolution of things,” Bouchard said. ”As great champions get older, new ones come in and I think it’s a really exciting time for women’s tennis.”

The 20-year-old and 22-year-old Romanian Halep are due second on Centre Court, after the all-Czech first semi-final between Lucie Safarova and the 2011 champion Petra Kvitova.

Halep, who has won seven titles in the space of 13 months to transform a previously steady career, is ready to turn her home tournament into a week-long party if she wins Wimbledon.

With what could be happy timing, the women’s tour visits Halep’s native Romania next week for the Bucharest Open, and she would love to parade the Venus Rosewater Dish to her supporters.

While Bouchard put paid to Angelique Kerber’s hopes, winning 6-3 6-4 on Court One, Halep beat Sabine Lisicki 6-4 6-0 on Centre.

Halep said: ”After this tournament I will go home. I have a tournament there. So I can enjoy the time with my fans, with my friends, and with everybody from there.

”My dream is to win a grand slam title, but it is not easy. Now I feel more prepared that I can win a title than at the French Open.

”So maybe here it will happen, but I am still very far away.”

Kvitova starts as the clear favourite for her match against Safarova.

Kvitova said: “To be in a semi-final of Wimbledon is always great for me. Especially when I won it here, I have great memories. I’m happy that I’m there again.”

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