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Women's final set and a mixed doubles epic: Best of Day 10

Simona Halep goes after a backhand during her Semi-final match
by Nicholas McCarvel
Thursday 3 July 2014

With one career title to her name, 20-year-old Genie Bouchard is going to do her best to double that total on Saturday – in the final of The Championships, Wimbledon.

The Canadian produced another surprise victory in the semi-finals with a straight-sets win over No.3 seed Simona Halep on Thursday. She’ll face 2011 champion Petra Kvitova. Here, a lookback at the Day 10 that was.

Match of the Day: [13] Genie Bouchard d [3] Simona Halep 7-6(5), 6-2
It was a toss-up as to who would come out the winner in this one, the fast-rising Halep meeting an ever-confident Bouchard, the two players who have had the most successful Grand Slam seasons (15-2 each entering the day) without a trophy.

But in the early going, Halep turned her left ankle when her foot caught on the backcourt, and was treated by the trainer on court.

Halep moved gingerly for the next couple of games, the two trading holds throughout to move into a breaker. It was there that Bouchard would separate herself from the Romanian, winning the set and then moving ahead comfortably in the second set.

Bouchard’s attacking style proved too much for the counter-puncher Halep, hitting 20 winners and going nine for 10 at the net.

Honorary Match of the Day: [6] Petra Kvitova d [23] Lucie Safarova 7-6(6), 6-1
Two Czech women and two left-handers, but only one semi-finalist would advance. That player would be Kvitova, who started quickly to 2-0 but then gave up her break of serve, their first set following a pattern of holds to the tie-break. It was there that the world No.6, a champion here in 2011, overpowered her friend and compatriot, winning the set with a series of powerful and serves and forehands.

Kvitova dismissed a past of nervy performances and almost-won matches in set two, putting her foot on the gas. Kvitova delivered eight aces in the match, winning 70 percent of points on her first serve and blasting 24 winners in total.

The win means Kvitova is through to her first Grand Slam final since beating Maria Sharapova here to win her only major title three years ago.

And In Doubles...
There is still a Murray left at this Wimbledon as Jamie Murray, Andy’s older brother, won in mixed doubles with Australian partner Casey Dellacqua.

In men’s doubles, No.5 seeds Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek advanced to the semi-finals where they’ll face upstarts Jack Sock and Vasek Pospisil.

The highest remaining women’s doubles team, Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci of Italy, also advanced, while Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic followed up their win over the top seeds by booking a place in the semi-finals, as well.

Photo of the Day (above): On a beautifully sunny London summer day, Halep and Bouchard battle it out.

Tweet of the Day: The tennis world has been concerned for Serena Williams’ health after her bizarre episode on No.1 Court in doubles on Tuesday. But here, a cheery update from the world No.1:

 

Stat of the Day: A year ago in the women’s singles field had 752 aces after the semi-finals. This year? 885.

'Did you just see?' of the Day
On No.1 Court, Naomi Broady and Neal Skupski, British wild cards in the mixed doubles, need 11 match points (11!) to make it through their third round match vs. Elina Svitolina and Florin Mergea. They came away with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 win, Broady saying afterwards: “I'm glad you were all entertained, I was having a heart attack!"

Quote of the Day
Bouchard on being compared to another breakout star of Wimbledon, Sharapova:
“I see it as a compliment to be compared to someone like Sharapova who has won five slams. You know, she's a great champion. I see it in a positive light. But also, I'm my own person. I don't want to be, you know, the next someone else. I want to be the first of me. You know, I want to be my own individual person. That's what I do. You know, I'll try to make my own history.”

Video of the Day: “Some people think of me as a perfectionist, but I’m just a human that goes where angels are afraid to tread.” Meet the Wimbledon engraver, Roman Zoltowski.


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