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Five to follow: Intriguing women's final headlines Day 12

Eugenie Bouchard extends for a backhand on Centre Court
by Nicholas McCarvel and Matt Trollope
Saturday 5 July 2014

It wasn’t even a year ago that Genie Bouchard was a hometown girl in Toronto being buoyed on by the Canadian crowd. She trailed by a set and 2-5 against the much higher-ranked Petra Kvitova when she double faulted for the eighth time, bringing up match points for her opponent.

Just 10 and a half months later the 20-year-old rising superstar faces Kvitova for just the second time in their careers, the former Wimbledon champion having won that only meeting in Canada 6-3, 6-2.

A Wimbledon title is on the line on Saturday for their second meeting, where Bouchard is chasing just her second-ever career title. Who wins out? The aggressive youngster or the former winner looking for a repeat performance?

Ladies’ Singles Final
[6] Petra Kvitova (CZE) v [13] Genie Bouchard (CAN)
Centre Court, 2pm
“I find her as a very solid and talented player,” the 23-year-old Kvitova said of Bouchard. “She really seems that she is confident in her game right now. She's moving very well. She's playing aggressively from near the baseline.”

Kvitova’s 6-3, 6-2 win in Toronto took nearly 90 minutes, however, the two players traded powerful groundstrokes throughout the match. The key for Kvitova on Saturday afternoon will be able to dictate with her lefty serve and forehand, her two biggest strengths.

If confidence can be a listed as a strength, that box is ticked for Bouchard, who is 16-4 in majors this year, her steady game consistent off both wings.

“I think I play a solid, aggressive game, one that's well-suited for grass I think. So I like playing on these courts,” Bouchard said. “I really just try to take control of the point when I can and really go for it. I want to try to take my chances, not kind of wait till someone gives it to me. So I think that's an important thing that I do.”

The Canadian has shown few signs of nerves at any stage of this year’s Championships, and if her performance against world No.3 Simona Halep in the semi-finals was any indication, she’ll be equally nerveless on Saturday.

With plenty of grass-court prowess between them, expect a big-hitting, high-quality ladies’ final.

[1] Bob Bryan(USA)/Mike Bryan (USA) v Vasek Pospisil (CAN)/Jack Sock (USA)
Centre Court, Second after 2pm
At one end of the court is arguably the greatest ever doubles team to have played the game. At the other? An unseeded duo that until this fortnight had never played a tournament together.

That’s the setting for the men’s doubles final at Wimbledon, pitting 15-time Grand Slam champions and top seeds Bob and Mike Bryan against the Canadian-American duo of Vasek Pospisil and Jack Sock.

This may appear a mismatch on paper, but Pospisil and Sock have defeated some quality opposition to reach this point, including a straight-sets demolition of No.5 seeds Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek in the semi-finals following their upset win over second seeds Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares in the quarters.

Yet it’s the first time the Bryans have reached a Grand Slam final since winning here a year ago, meaning the brothers will be extra motivated to hoist the trophy for a second straight title at the All England Club.

[2] Sara Errani/Roberta Vinci (ITA) v [14] Timea Babos (HUN)/Kristina Mladenovic (FRA)
Centre Court, Third after 2pm
Should the Italians win the Wimbledon title in 2014, they will complete an historic career Grand Slam. That’s what is on the line for them as the pair enter this year’s Wimbledon ladies’ doubles final against No.14 seeds Babos and Mladenovic, who ousted top seeds Su-Wei Hsieh and Peng Shuai en route to the title match.

The Italian pairing have improved as the event has progressed, romping through the final set of their quarter-final against No.6 seeds Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua 6-0, before breezing past No.9 seeds Andrea Hlavackova and Zheng Jie in the semis. Yet Errani/Vinci will be pushed by Babos and Mladenovic, who own a great advantage in both the height and power stakes.

Wheelchair Doubles
[1] Shingo Kunieda (JPN)/Stephane Houdet (FRA) v Tom Egberink (NED)/Gordon Reid (GBR)
Court 17, 11.30am
Defending champions Kunieda/Houdet kick off the men’s wheelchair event against Egberink and Reid. The winners advance to Sunday’s final, while the losers will play in a third-place play-off.

Kunieda won the French Open men’s title weeks ago, beating Houdet in the final. Houdet/Kunieda also won the title at the Australian Open earlier this year.

Boys’ Singles
Noah Rubin (USA) v Taylor Harry Fritz (USA)
No.3 Court, Second after 11.30am
It has been a less-than-successful Wimbledon for Americans when it comes to the singles, no man or woman advancing to the fourth round for the first time since 1911. But the junior event is guaranteed a player from the U.S. in the final as Rubin and Fritz face off in one semi-final, set to play the winner of Johan Sebastian Tatlot of France and another American, Stefan Kozlov.

Rubin qualified for the main draw, and is the charge of John McEnroe, training at the legend’s academy in New York.


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