There were only muted celebrations from ice-cool Canadian Eugenie Bouchard on reaching her first grand slam final at Wimbledon yesterday.
The message from the 20-year-old was very clear – the job is not finished.
Bouchard defeated third seed Simona Halep 7-6 (7/5) 6-2 and will play 2011 champion Petra Kvitova tomorrow.
The junior champion from two years ago, Bouchard’s progress has been remarkably swift, but her achievements are nothing more than the Canadian expected.
When she finally clinched victory on her sixth match point for the biggest win of her life, Bouchard briefly raised her arms and gave a small fist pump.
“I’m waiting for a big moment to go nuts,” she said.
“Of course, achieving a lifelong dream like winning a slam is very exciting to me. But I feel like my job is not done here, so there’s no need for a huge celebration because I’m still working. I still have another match.
“But it’s not a surprise to me. I expect good results like this. So for me, I was like, ’Okay, good’. It’s a step in the right direction.”
“After doing well in the past few slams, I’ve been believing since the beginning of the tournament that I can do really well.
“It’s really important not to get ahead of ourselves but I totally feel like I belong, and I’m just so excited for the next match.”
Things took a wrong turn for Halep early though, when she rolled her ankle in the fourth game.
She held on to force a tie-break in the opening set, which was halted for a number of minutes at 3-2 to Halep when a woman in the crowd fell ill.
Halep won the first point on the resumption but Bouchard then benefited from a very lucky net-cord and took full advantage with a run of four successive points.
Halep saved one set point but not a second, and Bouchard quickly ran away with the second set.
Meanwhile, Kvitova vowed to master the crippling pressure that dogged her Wimbledon title defence when she steps into her first grand slam final since 2011.
The 24-year-old dispatched close friend and Czech compatriot Lucie Safarova in straight , to set up her second grand slam and Wimbledon final.
The world number six admitted the burden of expectation proved all-consuming after she claimed the All England Club title in 2011.
“When I won here in 2011 I needed to change myself both on and off the court a little bit,” she said, after easing past Safarova 7-6 (8/6) 6-1.
“I had to get used to the pressure, I won here quite young, and it was difficult for me to handle it, definitely.”
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